What is asbestos?

Asbestos is made up of naturally occurring minerals that have crystallized to form long thin fibres and bundles. There are two groups of asbestos: Serpentine - Chrysotile (White asbestos) and Amphibole - Crocidolite (Blue asbestos) and Amosite (Brown asbestos)

How is exposure to asbestos controlled?

Legislation controlling asbestos has been around since the 1980's both to progressively prohibit the use and manufacture of asbestos materials and also to control how asbestos is managed in workplaces. The most recent legislation is the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012.

These regulations mean that the University must:

  • Determine the location and assess the condition of material that are likely to contain asbestos
  • Must presume the material contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
  • Make and keep an up to date record of the location and condition of the asbestos containing materials (ACM) or presumed ACM in the premises
  • Assess the risk of the likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from these material
  • Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • Review and monitor the plan periodically
  • Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is likely to work on or disturb them

An up to date register of asbestos containing materials is kept in Property Management (Estates and Campus Services) and at the Security Office in the Cottrell building.

Further information can be found by visiting the HSE's website on asbestos. There are also free HSE leaflets on asbestos.