The Control of Asbestos Regulations (NI) 2012 come into force in Northern Ireland on Monday 28 May 2012. The Regulations, which came into force in England, Wales and Scotland on 6 April, update previous asbestos regulations to take account of the European Commission’s view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).

This creates a new category of asbestos work, namely Notifiable Non-Licensed Work (NNLW).

For NNLW employers in addition to notification will also have to:

* provide a plan of work;
* ensure medical examinations are carried out; and
* maintain appropriate health records for workers.

Dependent on the categories, i.e. licensable, NNLW or non-licensed work will be determined by the nature of the work being carried out, the type of asbestos material being worked on and its condition. The identification of the type of asbestos-containing material (ACM) to be worked on and an assessment of its condition are important parts of the risk assessment, which needs to be completed before work commences.

To help with this new reporting HSENI has provided an online NNLW reporting form on its website.

Ken Logan, Principal Inspector for HSENI, said:

“Companies need to take note of this significant change in the law. HSENI will require a plan of work to be submitted along with notification of non-licensable work. Health surveillance will also have to be carried out and appropriate record keeping maintained.”