Occupational Hazards: Asbestos Exposure in Irish Industries

29 Mar 2024

Occupational Hazards: Asbestos Exposure in Irish Industries

For obvious reasons, the handling of asbestos in Ireland is governed by strict legal frameworks laid down in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations of 2006.

These regulations state that a comprehensive risk assessment must be done before commencing any projects involving workers being exposed. 

As such, employers are obligated to identify the presence of asbestos and evaluate the potential exposure levels to ensure the safety of their workforce. This obligation involves assessing the condition of asbestos-containing materials and determining the likelihood of fibre release.

Prior Notice to The Health & Safety Authority (HSA) 

Before carrying out any work, employers must provide advance notice to the HSA detailing the scope and nature of the planned work - whether asbestos removal is required. 

This requirement ensures that the HSA can monitor work and provide guidance or intervention when necessary to protect workers and health and public safety.

Employers in any industry must take all practicable measures to prevent the release of asbestos fibres, employing methods such as wetting down materials to suppress dust or using local exhaust ventilation. Where exposure cannot be avoided, it must be reduced to the lowest feasible level with personal protective equipment (PPE).

In addition, contractors must ensure that their employees are adequately trained and informed about the dangers of asbestos, the necessary safety measures, and the correct use of PPE. Also, contractors are responsible for asbestos disposal at an authorised waste facility. 

Keeping Workers Across Ireland Safe From the Dangers of Asbestos

The legal framework that governs asbestos in Ireland reflects a robust commitment to health and safety, emphasising risk assessment, exposure minimisation, and stringent requirements for notification and contractor responsibility. Compliance is not only a legal obligation but a moral imperative to safeguard public health and worker welfare.

To find out more about the asbestos services we offer or the work we do in the field of occupational hygiene, visit us today at www.ohss.ie. Alternatively, to speak to us directly about your requirements, call us today at 6905907.