9th November 2016
The management, and indeed expectation, of asbestos-containing materials to be present in shallow infilled soils, (“Made Ground”), has been quietly simmering in the brownfield redevelopment industry for some years. Contaminated land site investigations undertaken even as little as ten years ago invariably contained no consideration of asbestos, being invariably focused as they were on chemical characterization only. Asbestos fibres and their attendant health risks would undoubtedly have been missed. The protection of remediation contractors and landfill operatives against the inhalation of asbestos fibres is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The costs of doing so, not to mention the costs to those choosing not to do so, could attract some very nasty surprises if not adequately foreseen and accounted for. Only time will tell if there have been any long term medical impacts which may hit the courts in the future.
Today it is standard practice for all disturbed samples of fill material (i.e. non-natural ground) extracted during site appraisals to be subject to routine inspections for asbestos fibres. There is also now a document published which provides those practitioners planning and working on earthworks with the necessary comprehensive guidance. This is CAR-SOILTM, “Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012: Interpretation for Managing and Working with Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition materials: Industry Guidance”. It was jointly produced by the Asbestos in Soil and Construction & Demolition Materials Joint Industry Working Group (JIWG) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This document is free to download and is available at: www.claire.co.uk/asbestos
Amongst other things, CAR-SOILTM interprets how the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (“CAR”) should be applied in the brownfield industry and sets out which of the correct licenses should be used.
How Caulmert can assist
Our staff provide advice on the legal and best practice requirements for managing any soils and wastes which may have the potential to contain asbestos. We have long offered dust and fibre monitoring services for demolition and remediation schemes. We can also assist with the formulation of appropriate environmental management strategies in schemes involving earth-moving for both planning and programming purposes.