Asbestos FAQs


Is asbestos banned?

It is now prohibited to use, re-use, sell or supply asbestos or asbestos containing materials or products. However products or materials containing asbestos, which were already installed or in service prior to the prohibition, may remain in place until they are disposed of or reach the end of their service life. As a result, there is still potential for exposure to asbestos in a variety of workplaces (including domestic properties undergoing refurbishment) due to the large quantities of asbestos and ACM's which were used in buildings in the past.

Where is asbestos found?

Asbestos can be found in any industrial, commercial, public or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. Asbestos was widely used in a large variety of construction materials for a number of purposes e.g. flooring, walls, ceiling, roofs, heating systems and equipment. A detailed survey will be required to identify where asbestos is present in your building. An asbestos survey must be carried out by a competent person.

Who can identify asbestos? Who can carry out an asbestos survey?

The sampling and analysis of materials suspected to containing asbestos must only be undertaken by a competent person or company. For further information see  asbestos surveys.

What are the types of asbestos surveys?

The purpose of the management asbestos survey is to manage asbestos-containing materials during the normal occupation and use of premises.

A refurbishment/demolition asbestos survey (RDAS) is required where the premises, or part of it, needs upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.

What are the training requirements for asbestos?

Asbestos awareness training must be provided for anyone who during the course of their work, could potentially or unknowingly disturb asbestos containing materials (ACMs) causing asbestos fibres to be released into the air and those involved in building management, refurbishment or design for example, plumbers, electricians, facilities managers, designers, architects, engineers, PSDP. Awareness Training does not in any way enable you to work with asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

For any work involving disturbance of asbestos for example, surveying, encapsulation, removal work, specific documented practical training is required. See asbestos removal for further information.

Who can work with or remove asbestos?

A competent person must carry out any activity that involves disturbance of asbestos or asbestos containing material. All asbestos removal activities must be carried out by a competent person. The level of training, experience, knowledge and information required depends on the nature of the work. See information on asbestos removal.

Is asbestos removal notifiable to the HSA?

The requirement to notify depends on the risk associated with the asbestos work. See asbestos notifications for further details.

Who can carry out asbestos air monitoring?

The need for air monitoring should be determined as part of the risk assessment of the work. It must only be undertaken by a competent person or company. See asbestos surveys for information on selecting an asbestos analyst.