Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which presents a significant risk to health, particularly when asbestos fibres are disturbed or damaged and released into the air where they might be inhaled. It is important to note that the presence of an asbestos-containing material (ACMs) in itself does not constitute a danger to individuals. There is only a potential risk to health if any ACMs are damaged or broken.
Asbestos can be found in parts (walls, florring, ceiling, etc.) of some older buildings (those built in the 20th century) and in some items of work equipment or research equipment.
The University's Asbestos Policy provides the core principles and responsibilities for the safe management of asbestos, and is complemented by detailed asbestos Arrangements which are in place to ensure that any maintenance, refurbishment or construction work is carried out in a safe manner.
All University employees, including departmental staff and Estates Office staff, are required to ensure any work carried out by themselves or through any contractors is undertaken in accordance with the Asbestos Policy and the associated Arrangements (or Code of Practice). Such staff, including departmental staff, must complete the relevant Asbestos Training Module
Staff who engage or instruct contractors to carry out work which might disturb the fabric of any part of a building MUST submit the details of the work to the Estates Service Desk This process may take some time and MUST be planned for well in advance of the work.
Contractors who carry out maintenance, servicing and work that could cause disturbance of the fabric of buildings, or asbestos materials in equipment, must provide evidence that they and their workers have received the appropriate asbestos training.
If, in exceptional circumstances, work must be carried out urgently staff arranging the work must contact the Estates Service Desk immediately or, outside of normal working hours contact Security.
If staff suspect that asbestos materials have been disturbed or damaged they must remove all people from the area, close the area and report to the Estates Service Desk immediately.
It is possible that some older items of work equipment and research equipment, or equipment purchased outside the EU, might contain asbestos containing materials. When purchasing new equipment, or receiving second hand equipment, the relevant process must be followed. The process for approving that work on equipment can proceed must be followed.
Installation and Refurbishment Projects
Any installation or refurbishment project must follow the process set out in the Project Workflow document. Project managers of these must be trained in "Essentials for Managing work with Asbestos" and for ensuring that the project workflow is complied with. In particular the Project manager must provide the Asbestos Survey Contract Manager with a written detailed scope of project works and where necessary they must tour the proposed site and discuss the extent of the project works.