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Control of Asbestos at Work (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

1.  These Regulations amend the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1988 (S.R. 1988 No. 74) (“the 1988 Regulations”).

2.  Regulation 2 amends the 1988 Regulations in that it—

(a)amends the definitions of action level and control limit (regulation 2(2));

(b)extends their application to all employees exposed to asbestos (whether or not they are working with asbestos or any product containing asbestos) (regulation 2(3), (11)(a), (12) and (13));

(c)modifies the application to the Fire Authority for Northern Ireland of regulation 13(1) (cleanliness of premises and plant) (regulation 2(4));

(d)requires an employer to keep a copy of a risk assessment and plan of work at the place to which the assessment and plan relate and while the work to which they relate is being carried out, and to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the work is carried out in accordance with the plan (regulation 2(5) and (6));

(e)reduces from 28 to 14 days the period for advance notification to the enforcing authority of work with asbestos (regulation 2(7));

(f)requires an employer to examine and test respiratory protective equipment (regulation 2(10));

(g)requires an employer carrying out air monitoring to comply with, or to use a laboratory that complies with, European Standard EN 45001 (regulation 2(14));

(h)adds provisions to the 1988 Regulations so as to specify the premises and activities within United Kingdom territorial waters adjacent to Northern Ireland to which the 1988 Regulations apply (regulation 2(18) and (20) and the Schedule);

(i)introduces a defence in proceedings for contravention of the Regulations (regulation 2(19)); and

(j)makes textual and other minor amendments to the 1988 Regulations.

3.  European Standard EN 45001, “General criteria for the operation of testing laboratories” accepted by CEN/CENELEC on 23rd June 1989 (reference number EN 45001: 1989 E) can be obtained from the joint European Standards Institution, Central Secretariat, rue Bréderode 2, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium.

4.  In Great Britain the corresponding Regulations are the Control of Asbestos at Work (Amendment) Regulations 1998 (S.I. 1998/3235). The Health and Safety Executive has prepared a cost benefit assessment in relation to those Regulations and a copy of that assessment, together with a Northern Ireland Supplement prepared by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, is held at the offices of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland at 83 Ladas Drive, Belfast BT6 9FR, from where copies may be obtained.

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