Information Sheet 28


Hazardous Materials – New Buildings:

No hazardous materials may be used in the course of carrying out new works.

Hazardous Materials – Existing Buildings:

Where existing buildings are to be modified a particular risk in relation to chemical or biological substances may exist and the Client/Contractor must comply with specific legal requirements for health monitoring during the course of the work. The Client/Contractor must familiarise himself/herself with all legislation related to hazardous materials and, notwithstanding such legislation, the following points are emphasised:

Care must be taken in the stripping of lagging which contains or is likely to contain asbestos
Care must be taken in the breaking and removal of insulating boards and tiles likely to contain asbestos where the "action level" as defined in European Communities (Protection of Workers) (Exposure to Asbestos)(Amendment) Regulations 2000 is likely to be reached or exceeded


Any work which involves the renovation of buildings which were initially constructed, or on which substantial works were carried out, prior to the late 1980's should have an asbestos survey carried out by a competent specialist contractor, a copy of which should be forwarded to the Contractor. The Contractor must acquaint himself with the contents of the report and with the relevant legislation.


Asbestos may be concealed and only come to light during the course of the works and there must therefore be procedures in place to deal with such eventualities.

Specialist contractors must always be employed where friable asbestos – e.g. asbestos lagging, coating or asbestos insulation board is involved. The task guidance sheets in ‘HSG210 Asbestos Essentials: Task Manual’, issued in 2001 by the UK Health and Safety Executive, may be used to develop a safe system of work and the contract documents and/or the Preliminary Health and Safety Plan should refer non-specialist contractors to these.

Detailed Risk Assessment:

A Detailed Risk Assessment will have to be carried out by a Specialist Consultant prior to any work being carried out. Copies of the risk assessment should be forwarded to both the Main Contractor and the Architect.

Friable Asbestos:

Where Friable Asbestos has been identified and remains in place, the Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage should develop a method statement to remove the asbestos at the earliest possible time where the risk exists that asbestos will be disturbed during the course of the project.


All asbestos removal work is to be carried out by fully trained and certified operatives in accordance with the following regulations:

European Communities (Protection of Workers) (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 1989-2000.
European Communities (Asbestos Waste) Regulations 1990

All materials containing or contaminated with Asbestos should be double bagged and removed off site under permit. Asbestos is currently exported to Germany for disposal at a licensed landfill site.

Detailed records must be kept by the Contractor of the condition of all adjacent structures that may be affected by the works. These reports shall be made available at all times for inspection by the Client/Architect.

Further information:

Further information about safety requirements may be obtained from the National Authority for Occupational Safety and Health. Refer also to the Health and Safety Authority leaflet Safety with Asbestos (ref: 9.99C.S.) and Asbestos Essentials published by the Health and Safety Executive, (ref: 10403).

Any reference to a given Act or Statutory Instrument in the Contract Documents, Safety file and Safety plan are deemed to include any subsequent amendments, replacements and revocations of same, including but not limited to the following:

European Communities (Protection of Workers) (Exposure to Asbestos) (Amendment) Regulations, 2000 [Amends S.I. No. 34 of 1989 and S.I. No. 276 of 1993.]
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998
European Communities (Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Preparations) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998 S.I. No. 354 [Amends S.I. No. 272 of 1995.]

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