May 2010 in London Underground
A reporter has contacted CIRAS querying the procedures in place for asbestos removal.
The reporter is under the impression that areas where asbestos is being removed should be sealed and thoroughly cleaned afterwards. Also that staff should be made aware of any removal works taking place.
Could LUL answer the following: what procedures are set out in the LUL Rule Book for asbestos removal; how are contamination levels of asbestos measured; where can staff access any information they are entitled to regarding the asbestos removal, such as a method statement; should any notice be given in advance to staff who are working whilst the removal of asbestos is occurring?
1. What procedures are set out in the LUL Rule Book for
LUL Cat 1 Standard, 1-130 Management of Hazardous Materials - Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) defines the requirements for the asbestos registration within London Underground premises and sets out the duty holder, as defined by Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, for each of the suppliers who manage our premises.
There is a formal procedure, Mr-Pr-10026 A3 Control of Asbestos to be followed before any works commence within stations. This applies where the premises are maintained by LUL Nominee Company SSL or LUL Nominee Company BCV. For stations maintained by Tube Lines Ltd there is a procedure owned and managed by them.
2. How are contamination levels of asbestos measured?
Contamination occurs when an ACM is damaged in such a way that respirable asbestos fibres are released into the atmosphere. Should this occur, or the occurrence is suspected, then it should be reported as a fault. There is a tested regime that covers such situations and includes reassurance air tests commissioned from a UKAS accredited asbestos consultancy. A contractor, licensed by the HSE to work with asbestos, will carry out a decontamination process until it can be proved that the levels of airborne fibres are below the legislative levels.
3. Where can staff access any information they are entitled to regarding the asbestos removal, such as a method statement?
The LUL Asbestos Register is available at every station via the Station Supervisor's computer and is available on the LUL network. This information is also available to contractors, by requesting the Asbestos Register from the Station Supervisor, this should have had this information before they get to site.
4. Should any notice be given in advance to staff who are working whilst the removal of asbestos is occurring?
If an area is deemed unsafe it will be sealed and staff briefed
to prevent them from accessing the area. Major works that
incorporate a large amount of asbestos work will be planned in
advance and the staff will be briefed.
There may be occasions when asbestos is discovered accidentally. In this situation there will have been no prior briefing of staff and the incident will be resolved as described under "how are contamination levels of asbestos measured?" above.