The ban of asbestos acts in the EU countries. However, this doesn’t exclude the need to contact with this material in various works for removing it from buildings, utilizing asbestos-containing products, etc. Before beginning such work or even taking a tender for it, an employer must go through a range of mandatory procedures for getting as much asbestos information as possible with further analysis of situation. Such preparation work is called “organizational measures”.
The law regulating this area is the EU Asbestos Directive 2009/148/EC. The main its purpose is preventing workers from negative influence of asbestos, minimizing the risks of possible exposure and damage to health. There are three major organizational measures. The first one is notification to the authorities. The second is the risk assessment – the most important step. Based on it an employer will build his work process and produce measures for workers’ protection. The third step is developing a work plan.
There are a lot of requirements to allow some company to work with asbestos. First of all, an employer must be able to run medical examination for proper health control. Expertise in asbestos-related works and even an official license in some times are also required.
The notification phase implies that an employer must provide workers with extensive asbestos information, let them know about possible occupational health problems and authorities responsible for controlling and helping employers with various related issues. The allowed maximum of asbestos in the air is 100.000 f/m3. If the amount of asbestos doesn’t exceed this measure, the notification is not required. However, the most of works with this mineral imply higher concentrations, while the concentration itself hardly can be measured. As a result, notification is required in almost any case.
Risk assessment is a stage when employer detects all risks for possible exposure at the workplace and defining according prevention procedures. It is highly important to analyze all asbestos information including physical condition of materials, the amount of asbestos on the workplace and possible amount of exposure. However, the assessment of risks includes evaluating all possible dangers for the work the company is going to perform. This analysis should also cover the potential affection of the third parties.
This phase has another part, assessing the effectiveness of adopted measures and general condition of the workplace after the entire work is done. This part is essentially important for future works as it helps to define possible mistakes and preventing them in future.
The work plan includes planning the order and conditions of work in accordance with analyzed risks. All arrangements, actions for unforeseen issues, waste management and all other aspects of the work scope must be clearly described. The size and level of detail of the plan can vary depending on the work type.
Based on the collected information, proper measures for training personnel, working instructions will be performed.