Can you remove asbestos yourself?

Asbestos poses a real threat to anyone that is exposed to it. It attributes to over 4,500 deaths per year in the United Kingdom and you won’t likely see the effects of it until 15 years down the line. The harmful effects can include cancer of both the lungs or chest lining and these are often untreatable, resulting in death.

Removing asbestos is heavily associated with red tape and high costs. In an attempt to keep costs to a minimum people often wonder if they can complete the removal process themselves. The answer is a simple ‘no’. If you think you have asbestos in your property, we highly recommend getting it assessed by a professional.

Whether you are looking for asbestos removal in Kent, Essex, London or anywhere else in the UK – there are numerous professional asbestos removal firms to choose from for support.

Now you know that you cannot remove asbestos yourself, let’s run through a few reasons why.

The Rules of Asbestos Removal

Due to its harmful nature, the law is very strict with who can handle and remove asbestos. Specific procedures must be followed; otherwise, you risk landing yourself a heavy fine or imprisonment. One is notifying the Health & Safety Executive of your intention to remove asbestos.

Certain types of asbestos can only be removed by a specialist contractor with an HSE Asbestos Removal Licence. They use machinery and techniques to minimise or eliminate the risk of harm.

Other types of asbestos, such as asbestos-containing paper, felt, and cardboard, does not require an HSE licence to remove, but you still must inform the HSE by submitting form ASBNN1W1.

The Dangers of Amateur Removal

It is imperative you do not attempt to remove any asbestos yourself. The health effects of untrained removal can be devastating for anyone exposed to the fibres. You will be held responsible for anyone affected by or involved with the removal.

The health problems would not be your only worry. You would also face legal repercussions contrary to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The law states that only competent persons or organisations can conduct asbestos removal following the HSE legislation and guidance notes. A Hazardous Waste Consignment Note is required for all removals to prove that it has been disposed of correctly. In some instances, a 4-Stage Re-occupation Certificate may be required after removal.

Who Can Remove Asbestos?

We have established that you cannot remove asbestos unless you hold the correct licenses and certificates but who is authorised by the law to remove asbestos?

Asbestos materials should only be removed if absolutely necessary and only by people with the required skill, qualifications and licence to do so. When left alone, asbestos is not harmful; only when disturbed it becomes an issue. This is why the removal process is so hazardous and important.

Due to this challenging process, only a limited number of competent professionals are permitted to handle the removal.

If you consider removing asbestos yourself, it isn’t worth the risk. Seek the advice and guidance of a professional. Many companies can help with asbestos removal in Kent, Essex or London.

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