Farmers told to take action on asbestos


Asbestos farm buildings

Farmers told to take action on asbestos

Farmers have been told to take action by the health and safety executive (HSE) for any asbestos on their buildings.

This recent drive by the HSE follows unannounced farm inspections in which a number of fines were handed out for breaching health and safety regulations.

Farmers have a legal obligation to protect workers and visitors under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. In basic terms it is the legal duty of the farm to manage asbestos in ‘’non-domestic’’ properties which a farm obviously falls under.

While driving through the countryside you will notice the majority of farm buildings are constructed with asbestos barn roofs. Making it higher risk than usual is the fact family members including children are often living on farms.

The HSE outline the regulations in its publication ‘’ What a good farm looks like’’. In layman’s terms farms must have an asbestos management plan. The first step is having an asbestos survey carried out will locate any asbestos and give recommendations the farm must take to comply with the HSE.

Asbestos cement barn roof

Demotion works

If you plan on carrying out any demolition on your farm you MUST have an asbestos demolition survey carried out prior.

This type of asbestos survey is more intrusive and will identify any asbestos on the building that may need removing before it is demolished.

Handling asbestos

The majority of farm buildings will only contain non-licensed asbestos, although only an asbestos survey will confirm this.

You need to be competent person to remove this, this means you need to have had CAT B training, had an asbestos medical within the last 5 years, have insurance in place for asbestos removal and carried out risk assessments.

We always recommend you get a expert company like ourselves to deal with your asbestos, its really not worth it and legally can cost you a lot if you get caught out,

Here at Complete Asbestos Surveys we can carry out the management plan for you and follow through with any recommendations to make your farm compliant.


Q. What are the specific regulations and legal obligations regarding asbestos management on farms?

A: Farmers have a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 to protect workers and visitors from asbestos exposure. This includes managing asbestos in “non-domestic” properties such as farm buildings. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) mandates the implementation of an asbestos management plan, which involves conducting asbestos surveys and following recommendations outlined by the HSE.

Q. Why is asbestos particularly concerning in farm buildings, and what risks does it pose to workers and residents?

A: Asbestos is commonly found in farm buildings, especially in barn roofs. Due to the presence of family members, including children, living on farms, the risk of exposure to asbestos is heightened. Asbestos exposure can lead to serious health issues such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Therefore, it is crucial for farmers to take proactive measures to manage asbestos and minimize the risks associated with it.

Q. What steps can farmers take to ensure they comply with asbestos regulations and ensure the safety of their workers and visitors?

A: Farmers should start by conducting asbestos surveys to identify any asbestos-containing materials in their buildings. If demolition is planned, a specific asbestos demolition survey is required. Handling asbestos removal requires trained and competent personnel who have undergone CAT B training, medical assessments, and have proper insurance coverage. It’s highly recommended to enlist the services of expert companies specializing in asbestos management to ensure compliance with regulations and mitigate legal risks.

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