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15.—(1) In the event of an accident, incident or emergency related to the unplanned release of asbestos at the workplace, the employer shall ensure that—
(a)immediate steps are taken to—
(i)mitigate the effects of the event;
(ii)restore the situation to normal; and
(iii)inform any person who may be affected; and
(b)only those persons who are responsible for the carrying out of repairs and other necessary work are permitted in the affected area and that such persons are provided with—
(i)appropriate respiratory protective equipment and protective clothing; and
(ii)any necessary specialised safety equipment and plant;
which shall be used until the situation is restored to normal.
(2) The remainder of this regulation applies only to licensable work with asbestos, and is without prejudice to the relevant provisions of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000(1).
(3) Subject to paragraph (5), in order to protect the health of an employer’s employees from an accident, incident or emergency related to the use of asbestos in a work process or to the removal or repair of asbestos-containing materials at the workplace, the employer shall ensure that—
(a)procedures, including the provision of relevant safety drills (which shall be tested at regular intervals), have been prepared which can be put into effect when such an event occurs;
(b)information on emergency arrangements is available, including—
(i)details of relevant work hazards and hazard identification arrangements; and
(ii)specific hazards likely to arise at the time of an accident, incident or emergency; and
(c)suitable warning and other communication systems are established to enable an appropriate response, including remedial actions and rescue operations, to be made immediately when such an event occurs.
(4) The employer shall ensure that information on the procedures, emergency arrangements and systems required by paragraph (3)(a) and (c) and the information required by paragraph (3) (b) is—
(a)made available to the relevant accident and emergency services to enable those services, whether internal or external to the workplace, to prepare their own response procedures and precautionary measures; and
(b)displayed at the workplace, if this is appropriate.
(5) Paragraph (3) does not apply where—
(a)the results of the risk assessment show that, because of the quantity of asbestos present at the workplace, there is only a slight risk to the health of employees; and
(b)the measures taken by the employer to comply with the duty under regulation 11(1) are sufficient to control that risk.
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