UK: Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006

Last Updated: 24 November 2006
Article by Louise Nahon and Stuart Armstrong

New Asbestos Regulations will be coming into force on 13 November 2006.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR) implement changes to the Asbestos Worker Protection EU Directive and consolidate the three existing regulations into one. The Asbestos control, licensing and prohibition regulations will now be covered by CAR and two new Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) will accompany them. These ACoPs will be published on 13 November 2006.

The changes will affect employers (including self-employed persons) and other ‘duty holders’ (e.g. landlords with an obligation to maintain).

Simpler but stricter limits

CAR introduce a more stringent single control limit of 0.1 asbestos fibres per cm3 of air (averaged over 4 hours) for work with all types of asbestos.Work includes removal, repair or disturbance of asbestos and associated activities. This replaces the previous distinction between the chrysotile (white asbestos) control limit of 0.3 fibres per cm3 of air and the 0.2 fibres per cm3 of air control limit for other forms of asbestos (including blue and brown asbestos).

The reasoning behind this is that chrysotile asbestos (which is considered to be the less dangerous form) may be contaminated with other more dangerous forms of asbestos. In any case employers do not always make the distinction between different forms of asbestos. The regulations have also taken out references to ‘action level’.

The duties of employers to employees and third parties relating to minimising exposure to and reducing spread of asbestos are now solely defined by reference to the single control limit rather than by reference to control limits and ‘action levels’ (based on cumulative exposure over a 12 week period) e.g. in relation to the need for air monitoring, areas designated as asbestos areas etc.

Licensing Regime

Work with asbestos is generally carried out under licence from the HSE and has to be notified. ‘Work’ includes ancillary work such as supervision and cleaning of equipment contaminated with asbestos. The licensing regime previously contained absolute exemptions for work with asbestos cement and exemptions for work with certain types of asbestos insulation (if of short-term duration).

There are no absolute exemptions anymore and exemptions are instead given based on risk: the activity must fall within a specified list; cause ‘sporadic and low intensity exposure’; and there must be a satisfactory risk assessment (reg 3(2)). The list includes short and non-continuous maintenance activities, encapsulation of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) which are in good condition, air monitoring and collection and analysis of samples.

In addition, the activities relating to removal of insulation are now set out more generally as ‘removal of materials in which the asbestos fibres are firmly linked in the matrix’ and it is the ACoP which gives more specific guidance on what materials/activities fall within this exemption.

One new activity is the removal of textured decorative coatings which contain asbestos (one such form of this was known as Artex). Research has shown that the level of exposure to asbestos fibres from such work is low and comparable to risks from previously exempted materials. Other activities such as removal of asbestos cement or asbestos insulation may still be non-licensable provided they fulfil the other risk criteria.

The draft ACoP notes for instance that removal of asbestos cement will normally fulfil such requirements and therefore not need to be carried out under a licence (This information is, however, derived from the draft ACoP and is not yet certain).

Licences are now limited to a maximum 3 year period.

Training and Accreditation

CAR introduce specific mandatory training requirements for anyone liable to be exposed to asbestos (see Reg 18(4)). The draft ACoP also notes that this could include general maintenance staff, gas fitters, painters, and telecommunications engineers.

They also require (see Reg 20(4)) persons carrying out asbestos clearance and providing certificates of reoccupation after asbestos removal works to be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This requirement is the only requirement not in force from 13 November 2006 as it is intended to come into force on 6 April 2007.

Structure of CAR and accompanying ACoPs

Part I of CAR sets out mores specific definitions of the types of asbestos and the new control limit (Reg 2). However, it does not provide definitions for asbestos insulation or asbestos cement as previously provided. It defines ‘sporadic and low intensity exposure’ which is the criteria which in combination with a satisfactory risk assessment and a selection of specified activities (e.g. asbestos sampling) allows exemption from certain licensing and notification requirements. However, no exposure to asbestos can be considered to be sporadic and of low intensity if the concentration of asbestos in the atmosphere is liable to exceed 0.6 fibres per cm3 of air measured over 10 minutes in any working day (See Reg 3(3) and HSE press publication of 20 October 2006). It also require analysis of the concentration of asbestos in the air to be measured in accordance with the 1997 World Health Organisation recommended method.

Part 2 effectively embodies the requirements previously set out in the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 and the Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations1983.

Part 3 contains those requirements previously covered under the Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations 1992. In addition, it also contains further definitions in relation to the prohibitions defining asbestos cement.

Additional ACoPs

There are to be two Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP's) providing statutory guidance and which should be consulted in relation to any offences under the Regulations.

Work with materials containing asbestos - ACoP L143 is intended to give details of what work is licensable, what training is necessary and how to undertake work with asbestos containing materials and is due to be available from 13 November 2006 (replacing ACoP's L27 and L28). Also, an updated ACoP, the Management of Asbestos in Non-Domestic Premises, L27 is also due to be published at the same time (replacing L127).

As the new ACoP's have not yet been published - comments made in this briefing which are drawn from the draft ACoP cannot be treated as definitive.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.