Can I remove asbestos by myself?
We understand that many homeowners and businesses are worried that removing asbestos material could prove costly. You may be wondering whether you can avoid hiring professional asbestos removers by removing the material yourself.
The simple answer to this question is no — and we would not recommend it! Let’s look at some of the reasons why:
Health risk of asbestos
As mentioned, asbestos exposure has been linked to several life-threatening diseases including lung cancer and pleural thickening. If you or an employee attempts to remove asbestos, you risk disturbing the material and inhaling toxic asbestos fibres.
Attempting to remove asbestos without the correct training and equipment will put you and those around you at serious risk and can have fatal consequences.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations
Asbestos-related diseases are still a major problem in the UK and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 were introduced to ensure the safe handling and disposal of asbestos.
According to the regulations: “In the majority of cases, work with asbestos needs to be done by a licensed contractor.” In addition, “training is mandatory for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos fibres at work.”
Business owners who are responsible for the maintenance of non-domestic premises have a duty of care to follow these regulations and protect their employees against harm.
Rules surrounding asbestos disposal
There are strict rules surrounding who can handle asbestos and the disposal methods that must be used following removal.
Some asbestos materials (e.g. asbestos insulation) can only be removed by a fully licensed asbestos removal contractor, who must notify the HSE before taking an action. Other types of asbestos (e.g. asbestos-containing paper) do not require an HSE licence, but the individual or company removing the material must still notify the HSE using the ASBNN1W1 form.
The rules surrounding asbestos removal can be confusing and you must know how to remove asbestos safely.