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What are the responsibilities of an asbestos client?

If there is a suspected case of asbestos-containing materials in a building then the building or business owner (or those within it who have responsibility for this aspect of health and safety) must take appropriate measures and methods to identify, monitor and then remove the materials.

This must be something that is completed safely so that there is a minimum level of asbestos exposure. It is recommended that in order for everyone in the vicinity to be protected, a licenced asbestos contractor is the one who takes charge of the removal of the asbestos-containing materials.

What types of work should only be undertaken by licenced asbestos contractors?

In order to keep everyone on the premises safe it is recommended that a licenced asbestos contractor is arranged to carry out work that relates to asbestos-containing materials. This is particularly focused on the demolition and removal of these materials as well as any required maintenance that is carried out on these materials.

What are the duties of a duty holder of asbestos?

Whilst a licenced contractor will be required to carry out the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials, the day-to-day monitoring and management of these materials will need to be carried out by the duty holder.

They are there to keep the risk of the asbestos being able to go out into the environment, low and to reduce the risk that the fibres from the materials can cause harm to those in the area.

Who is responsible for providing asbestos training to staff?

It is the responsibility of the business owner, the employer or the designated manager to ensure that the staff within a business are given the correct level of training to keep themselves and those around them protected against the possible effects of asbestos exposure.

However, if they do not feel that they are able to deliver the right level of training, then it should be given to someone who is an expert in the area. For example, an asbestos removal contractor.

Licensing and Certification

In order to be recognised as being able to work with asbestos-containing materials, an asbestos removal contractor is required to be licenced. This licence is approved by the Health and Safety Executive.

If they carry out any tasks that relate to the removal or demolition of asbestos-containing materials then they will need to have these checks.

Asbestos Risk Assessment

Image of building surveyor for Learn Q Roles and Responsibilities of Asbestos Removal Contractors blogThe first part of asbestos safety is to actually identify that there is asbestos (or the chance of asbestos-containing materials) in a building. In order to do this and then ascertain what the next steps may be, it is important to carry out an asbestos risk assessment.

Whilst this can be carried out by someone who knows what they are looking for, as well as what the next steps will be in asbestos safety, this must be completed by someone who is an expert as this will give you the best chance of keeping everyone safe.

This is a service that a licenced asbestos removal contractor is going to be able to help you with this aspect of asbestos safety.

Work Plan Development

Any materials that contain (or are thought to contain asbestos) may start to deteriorate over time. This will then mean that they have to be removed from the premises. In order to try and identify when this needs to happen, the asbestos-containing materials must be monitored regularly.

Having a work plan in place, not only assists with reminding you that there needs to be regular checks on the materials and their condition. But it also helps you to think about what the next steps may be in ensuring that the materials are safe.

Safe Removal Practises (Asbestos)

If it is found that the asbestos-containing materials are not in good condition and need to be removed from the property, then you are going to need to think about how this can happen safely.

Safe removal practices when it comes to asbestos mean that you try to reduce the number of harmful fibres that are released into the air. There are several ways that this can happen, therefore it is a good idea to speak to your asbestos contractor to find out more about what they think is the right approach for your situation.

Containment and Encapsulation

One aspect of asbestos removal that licenced contractors will be able to manage is the containment and encapsulation of the materials when they are being removed, transported and disposed of.

More often than not, the asbestos-containing materials will be made to be damp, which means that they are going to be much less likely to release the fibres that can then cause the issues. In many circumstances, the asbestos-containing materials will also need to be encapsulated.

Encapsulation is when a particular coating is used, which is applied to the material, creating a barrier that makes it much harder for the fibres to make their way into the air, where they can then cause damage to people.

Asbestos Waste Disposal

It is vitally important that any asbestos-containing materials are disposed of in a way that is safe and that reduces the risk of the asbestos fibres causing damage.

A licenced asbestos contractor is going to be able to ensure that they dispose of asbestos-containing materials not only in the right place but also in a way that is going to keep everyone safe.

Air Monitoring (Asbestos)

Whilst any work is being carried out on asbestos-containing materials, or they are being removed, it is important to ensure that the air quality is as high as possible.

The best way to do this is to carry out regular air monitoring checks in the area where the asbestos-containing materials are being worked on. This requires not only specialist equipment to carry out the checks, but also an understanding of what can and will happen should the quality of the air decrease significantly.

Asbestos Decontamination Procedures

Image of asbestos remover for Learn Q Roles and Responsibilities of Asbestos Removal Contractors blogNot only must an asbestos removal contractor be able to deal with the asbestos-containing materials properly, but they should also then follow the relevant decontamination process. This is to ensure that the fibres from them handling the asbestos materials, cannot then be moved to another space, with the potential for harm being caused.

There are a variety of key aspects of an asbestos decontamination procedure that need to be carried out.

The procedure must be carried out with the right level of PPE, this will help to protect not only the person who is cleaning but also the chance of the fibres being moved into another area.

It is also important that the area is properly cleaned. Whilst some think that a pressure washer is going to be enough to clean the area, this is not the case. It should be carried out to a high standard, to ensure that it is all removed and the risk of exposure is reduced.

It is key that any items that cannot be properly cleaned during the decontamination process are disposed of safely.

Asbestos Notification and Reporting

If it is thought that there are asbestos-containing materials are present, then the relevant authorities must be notified of this.

This report should be created by the asbestos removal contractors or those who are trained and responsible for asbestos safety on the premises. By reporting its presence, the HSE can be aware that it is a possible issue and that the next steps that are taken to deal with the materials are appropriate and fit for purpose.

Asbestos Documentation

As well as reports being made, asbestos documentation also needs to be created. This documentation will cover not only the dates and locations of where the asbestos materials are but also what has happened with them.

The documentation can also cover when the materials were removed, how they were removed and of course, where they ended up being disposed of. This documentation should be kept as it then becomes relevant records.

Asbestos Safety Training

To keep safe when it comes to asbestos, delivering asbestos safety training is important. There are a variety of ways that this training can be delivered, however, it is always best that it is presented by someone who is an asbestos expert.

An asbestos removal contractor may be in the best position to provide this service.


When it comes to safety of any kind, a key element of it being successful is communication. When communication is effective, everyone who needs to know what is happening and why will know.

It is when this communication is not effective, that issues can arise. Contractors for asbestos removal will know that they need to ensure that communication that they have, not only with their clients but also with the HSE is important.

Post-Removal Inspection

Whilst the main focus is always to remove and dispose of asbestos, another service that comes from asbestos removal contractors is the post-removal inspection. This will be carried out to ensure that all of the asbestos-containing materials have been removed and that there is nothing left that can cause an issue for those in the area.

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