Asbestos professional and trade organizations have relesead a joint press statement advising all duty-holders that asbestos must continue to be managed during the second lockdown period. The statement comes in the midst of reports of increasing confusion about the permitted asbestos remediation activity during the latest lockdown in England, while there are further restrictions across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The reminder stressed that the legal duty under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 remain fully in force. This requires all duty-holders – anyone who has responsibility for locations and materials – to manage asbestos risks, such that exposure to asbestos is either prevented or reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable.

Steve Sadley from asbestos industry body ARCA commented: It is important that you enable the asbestos specialists who can keep you safe and legal to do their job, even where your site is closed for employees, as part of ongoing asbestos management. Jonathan Grant, Deputy Registrar of the Faculty of Asbestos Analysis and Management, added: Across all of those concerned with the protection of people from asbestos, there is a real worry that the important controls to prevent COVID-19 transmission may be misunderstood as protecting people from other potentially lethal exposures. The professional and trade bodies want to make it clear that the hazards of asbestos have not gone away and that we are all here to help.

Asbestos testing should form part of every asbestos inspection, whatever the property type. All suspect materials are sampled by the asbestos surveyor carrying out the survey, which are then analysed using microscopy techniques at a UKAS accredited laboratory. Single asbestos test results are usually available within 48hrs with a certificate of analysis detailing the asbestos type(s) present within the asbestos material.

We undertake asbestos surveys as directed by UK legislation. We provide Management Asbestos Surveys & Refurbishment/Demolition Asbestos Surveys for all residential properties, commercial properties & industrial properties. Lead paint surveys & analysis are crucially important for those involved in refurbishment or renovation, particularly in period properties or listed buildings which have been neglected or have remained unchanged for some time. EnviroHive Ltd undertake Anthrax Surveys & Tests on horse hair and other animal hairs within plaster including lathe and plaster varieties which can feature within older buildings, particularly listed properties.

Government guidelines also make it clear that it is entirely lawful to enter premises (including business premised and other people’s houses) in order to deliver services and work. The bodies have also reiterated that where sites are completely shut, annual re-inspections can be postponed, but it is essential these are undertaken prior to employees returning to site to guard against deterioration of ACMs. Many of our clients are managing multiple properties in multiple locations, with various asbestos management projects running at the same time. Whether your concern is for an individual building, an entire portfolio of commercial properties, a public sector facility or even your housing stock, we’ll make your safety and compliance our prime concern.

Graham Warren from industry body ACAD said: Asbestos professionals, such as surveyors and analysts, alongside HSE licensed contractors, are proficient in the use of control measures, should have undertaken the statutory Covid-19 risk assessments and should work with site-specific measures. The HSE remains active in seeking regulatory compliance during lockdown and all concerned must continue to adhere to the requirements including the Control of Asbestos Regulations, the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Construction Design and Management Regulations in order to continue to minimise all exposure to asbestos fibre from any source. Read more details on