Asbestos Policy

Argyle Street Housing Co-operative Asbestos Management Policy   (Adopted by GM 17/08/2011)

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was widely used in the past and is now known to be potentially very harmful. The potential for harm varies depending on the type of asbestos, the form it is in and its condition. ASH co-op has had surveys carried out on each type of house or flat and some asbestos has been found on site. We are, therefore, required to have a policy for the management of Asbestos. The overall assessment of the ASH Co-op Site’s risk was found to be “very low”. Copies of the surveys are available from the office.

Members:

All members should be aware of the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) on the site. Samples showed that ACMs were used in three distinct areas within ASH Co-op:

1) Ceiling Coatings – Many of the ceiling coatings in all the buildings within ASH co-op contain asbestos. These are the textured (or “Artex”) ceilings – the ones with the lumpy (or rippled) surface. These contain White Chrysotile Asbestos. The survey made the following recommendations about this material:

– Should it remain undisturbed, the asbestos decorative finish (in its recorded condition) requires no further action other than the statutory requirement that it be

managed and routinely inspected. Although labelling of asbestos containing materials is not a

legal requirement, it may reduce the risk of accidental disturbance and as such should be

considered. Current guidance notes suggest that the minimum interval between re-inspections of asbestos containing materials, of this type and condition, should be no more than twelve months, unless additional risk assessments suggest a more frequent regime is required.

Members should avoid damaging the coated ceilings – the material is safe in its current form. Should the material be damaged by drilling, sanding or any other method it may release fibres of asbestos which could be inhaled. Avoid this.

2) Cement Water Tanks – These are not in use and are to be found in the lofts or in cupboards on the top floor – not all homes in ASH Co-op contain one of these tanks. These contain White Chrysotile Asbestos. The survey made the following recommendations about  these water tanks:

Should it remain undisturbed, the asbestos cement water tank (in its recorded condition) requires no further action other than the statutory requirement that it be managed and routinely inspected. Although labelling of asbestos containing materials is not a legal requirement, it may reduce the risk of accidental disturbance and as such should be

considered. Current guidance notes suggest that the minimum interval between re-inspections of asbestos containing materials, of this type and condition, should be no more than twelve months, unless additional risk assessments suggest a more frequent regime is required.

Members should leave these tanks alone – don’t touch them – they will not release harmful fibres if undamaged and left alone.

3) Cement Under Cloaks – These are on the roof, and on some porches – an Under Cloak is the cement that is used to bed in tiling at the end of a run of tiles – you can see them on the gable ends of the houses where they hold the tiles in place at the top of the walls. These contain White Chrysotile Asbestos. The survey makes the following recommendations about the Under Cloaks:

Should they remain undisturbed, the asbestos cement under cloaks (in their recorded condition) require no further action other than the statutory requirement that they be managed and routinely inspected. Although labelling of asbestos containing materials is not a legal requirement, it may reduce the risk of accidental disturbance and as such should be

considered. Current guidance notes suggest that the minimum interval between re-inspections of asbestos containing materials, of this type and condition, should be no more than twelve months, unless additional risk assessments suggest a more frequent regime is required.

Members should not disturb the Under Cloaks. Any work on the roof should be going through the Maintenance Group.

4) Regardless of the findings of the survey if any member finds something they think might contain asbestos they should leave it alone and inform the maintenance group or office immediately. If any member finds previously identified ACMs that have been damaged they should report this to the maintenance group or office immediately. Members of the maintenance group, or office staff, who have a current Asbestos Awareness Certificate will then decide on an appropriate course of action.

5) All new members will be informed of the location of asbestos in their house before signing their tenancy agreement.

Maintenance Group & Office Staff.

6) ASH Co-op will provide asbestos awareness training to all staff and maintenance co-ordinators, as well as any other members who contract works in ASH Co-op. This training should also be made available to other members who wish to receive it, although priority should be given to those responsible for work being done.

7) A register of Asbestos Awareness trained staff and members will be kept in the office. The register will contain the dates at which certification of asbestos awareness becomes invalid, in order that further training is provided in good time for the requirements of this policy to be maintained.

8) The person booking works within the Co-op will inform the contractors if the work to be carried out is in an area identified as containing ACMs, or in an area that was not accessed for the Asbestos survey. Contractors working in these areas will have to show that they hold the relevant certificates required under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.

9) Any refurbishment work will be preceded by an Asbestos Survey specifically prepared for an area to be refurbished. The work should be carried out by accredited contractors and should meet the requirements of:

Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR),

HSG 264 Asbestos- the Survey Guide

With any analysis of samples meeting the requirements of:

HSG 248 Asbestos – the Analysts Guide.

10) The ACMs identified by the survey will be managed by inspection survey on a yearly basis. These materials are listed on the Asbestos Register contained in the Surveys carried out in January 2011 by Oracle Solutions (UK) Ltd. All inspection surveys will be carried out within the guidelines stipulated by CAR 2006 (which in practical terms means getting an approved contractor in).

11) Any demolition work will be preceded by a demolition survey meeting the requirements of CAR 2006.

There is a specific requirement in CAR 2006 (regulation 7) for all ACMs to be

removed as far as reasonably practicable before major refurbishment or final

demolition. Removing of ACMs is also appropriate in other smaller refurbishment situations which involve structural or layout changes to buildings (e.g. removal of partitions, walls, units etc). Under CDM (Construction Design & Management Regulations, 2007) the survey information should be used to help in the tendering process for removal of ACMs from the building before work starts. The survey report should be supplied to designers and contractors who may be bidding for the work, so that the asbestos risks can be addressed.

12) This policy should be reviewed on an annual basis.