When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases.
The Health and Safety Executive explains where you can find asbestos.
Asbestos in the workplace
As an employer, you must:
- find out if asbestos-containing materials are present and plan the work to avoid disturbing these materials if possible
- make sure that anyone who is going to work on asbestos material has had appropriate information, instruction and training and is supervised
- know what work can be carried out on asbestos-containing materials, including if the work needs to be carried out by a licensed contractor
- take account of other risks as well as asbestos, and take the precautions necessary to do the job safely
- use the equipment and method sheets and the right task sheet to make sure that the job is carried out properly and that exposure to asbestos is kept as low as possible
- prepare a plan of work, explaining what the job involves, the work procedures, and what controls to use
- provide the right equipment to your employees. The equipment needs to be clean, in good working order, and give protection against asbestos
- train your employees in using this equipment
- make sure the work area is inspected visually at the end of the job, to check it's fit for reoccupation
- make arrangements for the safe disposal of any asbestos waste
- consult the health and safety representatives
Asbestos at home
If you find asbestos at home the hazardous waste scheme run by Essex County Council can help remove it.
They will collect up to 40 kg of bonded asbestos for free.
Before it can be taken away, you need to:
- wrap the waste in polythene
- make sure smaller pieces of waste are double bagged
If there is lots of extra waste you will need to dispose of this yourself.
Essex County Council recycling centres do not accept asbestos.