Asbestos law


On this page we explain what the key legal requirements are for managing and controlling the risks from asbestos.

What does the asbestos law cover?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR) carried forward requirements previously contained in 'The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006'. These regulations are for ORR to enforce in its areas of responsibility, except for licensed asbestos work.

  • Regulation 4 sets out the requirements of the duty to manage asbestos.
  • Regulation 8 requires licensed asbestos work to be undertaken by a contractor licensed by HSE.
  • Under Regulation 9 that work must be notified to HSE at least 14 days in advance of the start date. Some types of unlicensed work with asbestos now needs to be notified to the relevant enforcing authority where they are likely to be above the control limits.
  • Regulation 22 now includes a new requirement that from April 2015 workers who carry out notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos should have a medical examination every three years by a licensed medical practitioner.

The legislation also sets out the requirements prior to any work with asbestos starting, such as:

  • risk assessment;
  • plan of work; and
  • information, instruction and training;

and the protective measures needed to prevent exposure to asbestos during and after work.

Some requirements only apply to licensed work, for example regulations 18, 19 and 20 - asbestos designated area, air monitoring and air testing.

The European regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) prohibits the placing on the market of articles containing asbestos. We have new enforcement responsibilities under the REACH Enforcement (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which include the authority to issue asbestos exemptions. See the asbestos page for details of our role.