Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 002 – Asbestos Incidents:
Asbestos incidents can cause serious harm to workers. Incidents can also lead to severe operational constraints and temporary unit closures.
Description, Issue and Impact/Effect
There have been several recent incidents where asbestos containing materials (ACMs) have been disturbed in Royal Mail Group buildings. When damaged or disturbed, tiny asbestos fibres can be released into the air and enter people’s lungs when breathing. Breathing in air containing asbestos fibres can damage the lungs and lead to fatal asbestos-related diseases, such as Asbestosis, Mesothelioma and lung cancer. Additionally, when a work activity causes the accidental release or escape of asbestos fibres into the air in a quantity sufficient to cause damage to the health of any person, it is reportable to the HSE under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
- Where asbestos remediation works have been carried out, it does not indicate that it is free of asbestos containing materials. If there is any uncertainty, the PiC should ask the contractor to STOP and contact the RMP&FS National Service Centre prior to any work being undertaken on the fabric of the building.
- Only Asbestos Consultants and Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractors (LARCS) are permitted to sample or work on presumed or known asbestos materials.
Key Management Activities and Messages
- Prior to allowing any work to proceed, contractors must check the Asbestos Register within the Site Log Book. All pre 2000 Royal Mail buildings will have an Asbestos Register held on site within the Site Logbook. Contractors must not start any works until they have seen this register.
- If the work on site is intrusive, a Project Asbestos Plan (PAP) PFS2_026Ac must be produced and available on site. A PAP is a live document which demonstrates how asbestos risks will be managed, including any asbestos containing material that will remain following any remediation works. A copy must be held on site and the Site Manager/PiC must be aware of its contents.
- Anyone carrying out work on the Royal Mail Group estate must ensure the asbestos management control measures are followed, to prevent future asbestos disturbance incidents.
Area Health and Safety Reps
Would all CWU Area Health and Safety Reps please note and communicate the content of the Safety Flash, supporting the key messages and learning points.
RMG SHE Safety Flash FY22 002 – Asbestos Incidents
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer