(Toolbox Talk) Asbestos, Management Awareness

Table of Contents
Asbestos management awareness


The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase staff awareness of Asbestos management within the workplace.

The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.

Legislation references

  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

Asbestos awareness

Asbestos is common in buildings and has good insulation and firestopping properties. However, Asbestos fibers present a serious risk of ill-health including death.

An estimated 4,000 deaths per year can be attributed to the effects of working with Asbestos. Failure to undertake responsibilities towards asbestos can lead to fines, imprisonment or both!

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber which can cause serious adverse health effects including cancers and other diseases that may be fatal. Exposure must be and is managed by law.

Asbestos in good condition can be left in place if managed properly. Given its insulating properties, Asbestos is found extensively in buildings pre-dating 1980.

Know your responsibilities

  • Do not allow work on buildings without cross-checking the asbestos plans
  • Determine a safe system of work
  • Ensure work is only completed by trained individuals
  • Check licensing for contractors and take a copy of their licence
  • Ensure precautions are in place before work commences
  • Ensure a system of control monitoring is in place during works
  • Ensure all waste is managed in accordance with the safe system of work

Actions for management

  • Formulate the risk assessment
  • Exclude non-essential personnel from area of the works
  • Consider out-of-hours working
  • Ensure compliance with HSE Guidance for non-licensed work – Asbestos Essentials
  • If at all unsure – SEEK ADVICE from a professional!

Asbestos related work

  • May require a licence
  • Only a competent person may carry out the work
  • Asbestos is hazardous waste
  • If you suspect asbestos record it on the asbestos plan