School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

Asbestos Management

Even drilling into a wall to put up a shelf can result in exposing asbestos - especially on a campus where many buildings date from an era when various building materials contained asbestos.

To safeguard everyone's safety, it is crucial to get informed and use the safety protocols.
There are also legal implications to any mishandling of asbestos management.

As stated on the Health and Safety Executive website, the "duty to manage asbestos is directed at those who manage non-domestic premises: the people with responsibility for protecting others who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks to ill health that exposure to asbestos causes."

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/duty.htm

Four essential steps to asbestos management

(as listed on the Health & Safety Executive's "The duty to manage asbestos" webpage):
  1. find out whether the premises contains asbestos, and, if so, where it is and what condition it is in. If in doubt, materials must be presumed to contain asbestos
  2. assess the risk from asbestos present in the premises
  3. make a plan to manage that risk and act on it
  4. provide this information to other employers (eg building contractors) who are likely to disturb any asbestos present, so that they can put in place appropriate control while the work is being done.

Basic principles of asbestos management

  • asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed. If it is safely managed and contained, it  doesn't present a health hazard
  • it is best not to remove asbestos unnecessarily - removing it can be more dangerous than leaving it in place and managing it
  • not all asbestos materials present the same risk. The measures that need to be taken for controlling the risks from materials such as pipe insulation are different from those needed in relation to asbestos cement
  • if you are unsure about whether certain materials contain asbestos, you should presume they do and treat them as such
  • remember that the duty to manage is all about putting in place the practical steps necessary to protect maintenance workers and others from the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres - it is not about removing all asbestos

On the Sussex University campus, asbestos management is placed in the care of Sussex Estates and Faciltiies (SEF).SEF are charged with maintaining a campus-wide repository of information on asbestos and how it is being maintained.  This is consulted every time any invasive works that may disturb existing building structures is planned, to ensure this is carried out safely and in compliance with the relevant legislation.

In order to update information on asbestos from what is currently available, SEF has contracted a specialist firm to undertake a campus-wide survey, which will be taking place over 2016.

SEF is also in the process of transferring all relevant data into an online asbestos management system.  This will enable ready access to the information for both SEF and University staff, and facilitate swifter progress for any maintainance works or building projects.

As part of their duty to manage the risk of asbestos under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Estates (SEF) have arranged a programme of re-surveys across all University premises. The re-surveys will help SEF to consolidate, refresh and validate their asbestos records. A key driver for this project was their migration of data into a new online asbestos management system, which will improve the visibility and access to critical asbestos information to SEF and University staff.

On these dates access may be required by the appointed surveyors from Core Surveys Ltd. There will be minimal disruption during the re-survey programme with no need to vacate or close down normal business operations. For high-risk operations, or those that may be hazardous to visitors, the space will either be specifically scheduled for access, or temporarily close down for the duration of the survey.

Tests may require a small sample to be taken, which will involve a small scratching of the material which will then be tested. Please be assured that this process is being carried out by an approved and competent contractor, who is the University’s preferred contractor for asbestos matters. No damage should be caused and there should be no cause for concern of exposure due to the limited amount of damage caused.

For more information, please visit the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/managing/survey-manage.htm

As part of the campus-wide asbestos survey programme in 2016, visits by the specialist consultant company Core Surveys Ltd. have been scheduled for all the buildings the School occupies:

BuildingNumber of daysDates
Arundel 2 3 - 4 May 2016
Chichester 1 2 19 - 20 July 2016
Chichester 2 2 25 - 26 July 2016
Chichester 3 2 27 July & 1 August 2016
Pevensey 1 3 2, 3 & 8 August 2016
John Clifford West 1 13 April 2016
Richmond 3 15, 20 & 21 June 2016
Shawcross 2 22 & 27 June 2016
Thermo-Fluid Mechanics 1 27 April 2016

Margarita Steinberg and Marc Williams will act as co-ordinators for the School, so please address any queries to one of them - see the Contact section below for details.

Further information on asbestos surveys is published by the Health and Safety Executive in a document dating from 2012, which is available free to download here:

"Asbestos: The survey guide" http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg264.pdf

Please contact Margarita Steinberg, Health & Safety Co-ordinator for the School, with any queries (please note I work part-time, and there may be a delay in my replying to emails).

For any urgent queries, please contact Marc Williams, School Administrator (also Health & Safety Co-ordinator for the School).

NameRoleEmailTelephone
Margarita Steinberg Health & Safety Co-ordinator M.A.Steinberg@sussex.ac.uk

x 7600
(external line: 01273 87 7600)

Marc Williams

School Administrator

Health & Safety Co-ordinator

M.Williams@sussex.ac.uk

x 8361
(external line: 01273 67 8361)

 

 

Health & Safety webpages for the School of Engineering and Informatics are maintained by Margarita Steinberg,
If you come across anything needing correcting / have suggestions for improvements, please email me or call x 7600.

 

 

 

School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

School Office:
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Chichester 1 Room 002, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ
enquiries@enginf.sussex.ac.uk
T 01273 (67) 8195

School Office opening hours: Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00
School Office location [PDF 1.74MB]