The difference between licensed and non-licensed asbestos removal

We understand that the term asbestos means an element of danger and health risk, but when you hear the terms licensed and non-licensed asbestos removal, you may suffer confusion on what the differences are? How to remove asbestos insulation correctly? Surely asbestos has one certain safe way to be removed, right? 

As you will no doubt be aware, asbestos has been used for many decades within the building of properties due to its affordability and resistance to fire, without knowing about its damaging effects on people's health upon being disturbed. To combat this, certain measures and regulations were put in place to protect workers undertaking the removal of this hazardous material.

Which is which?

One method used in controlling the risks is categorising the removal as either licensed or non-licensed, enabling the appropriate preventive methods to be enforced in its removal via the right qualified personnel.

When looking at non-licensed asbestos removal, it means that a special license to remove the waste is not required because the risk is considered lower. However, this does not mean that training and competence are not required to do it.  Using a non-licensed contractor is often the most practical and cost-effective way of removing your asbestos but an assessment is still required prior to going down this route.

Licensed asbestos removal is when a job is considered significantly hazardous and requires a licensed contractor in asbestos services to remove the risk to the public. These licenses are granted by the HSE, which state that this type of activity is required to be brought to the attention of the enforcing authorities.

Anybody failing to adhere to these licensing regulations stands to find themselves facing severe ramifications, from heavy fines to a potential prison sentence in failing to subcontract a licensed company to handle the removal.

Understanding the difference

To understand the level of requirement your property or business has, a risk assessment would have to be undertaken to determine the level of risk involved in the asbestos identified.

No work on removing asbestos should ever be undertaken without this crucial step, as it contains key information on the material and the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and control measures that are required to be utilised in the process of removal.

This assessment also factors in important information relating to the project. These include how easily the asbestos will break into smaller pieces, making it easier to inhale the fibres and cause harm to people in the area. Very friable asbestos products, such as sprayed coatings and insulation, can be easily disturbed and cause damage to workers health.

Determining the job

Determining whether a job requires a licensed or non-licensed removal of asbestos depends on the level of risk. Whilst asbestos can be manageable, it requires a certified professional to assess and correctly determine the severity with asbestos testing.

For safe and secure asbestos removal in South Manchester, contact the team at Grosvenor Asbestos Solutions today.

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Property asbestos risks for Duty Holders

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Managing and disposing of asbestos