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Property Special Interest Group Asbestos Awareness Luke Exford.

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Presentation on theme: "Property Special Interest Group Asbestos Awareness Luke Exford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Property Special Interest Group Asbestos Awareness Luke Exford

2 3 Where is it found in a building Agenda 1 Why is it so dangerous 2 What is Asbestos 5 Practicalities and costs associated with asbestos 6 Implications for the Insurance Industry 7 Questions and Answers 4 Measures used by Government to control working with asbestos

3 Why is it so dangerous

4 Asbestos related disease Asbestosis Mesothelioma Asbestos-related lung cancer Diffuse pleural thickening

5 A lung disease first found in naval shipyard workers, asbestosis is a scarring of the lung tissue from an acid produced by the body's attempt to dissolve the fibers. The scarring may eventually become so severe that the lungs can no longer function. It occurs after long-term, heavy exposure to asbestos, e.g. in mining. Sufferers have severe shortness of breath and are at an increased risk regarding several different types of lung cancer. The latency period (the time it takes for the disease to develop) is often years Asbestosis

6 Mesothelioma A cancer of the lining of the lungs and the chest cavity. Asbestos exposure is linked to at least 50% of patients developing malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma has a peak incidence years after asbestos exposure. Average survival for patients with malignant mesothelioma is 11 months deaths in 2004, up from 153 in 1968.

7 Asbestos-related lung cancer Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer for both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. Lung cancer is mainly caused by smoking but it is thought that approximately the same number die each year form asbestos related lung cancer as that of Mesothelioma induced by asbestos fibres Nearly 60% of people with lung cancer die within a year

8 Diffuse pleural thickening The pleura is a two-layered membrane which surrounds the lungs and lines the inside of the rib cage. Some asbestos fibres inhaled into lungs work their way out to the pleura and may cause fibrosis or scarring to develop there. This causes the pleura to thicken. Pleural thickening occurs in two forms. Diffuse pleural thickening extends over a large area and may restrict expansion of the lungs, leading to breathlessness while pleural plaques are localised areas of thickening which usually do not interfere with breathing.

9 What is Asbestos

10 The name is derived from its historical use in lamp wicks Asbestos was used in fabrics such as Egyptian burial cloths Asbestos occurs naturally in many forms and is mined from metamorphic rocks. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats. Asbestos is used in brake shoes and gaskets for its heat resistance. Asbestos is used extensively in buildings for its flame-retardant and insulating properties, tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals. What is Asbestos

11 Asbestos describes any of a group of minerals that can be fibrous. "White" asbestos. (aka/or Chrysotile) is more flexible than other types of asbestos; it can be spun and woven into fabric. A naturally occurring, fibrous and silky, serpentine asbestos mineral with a color ranging from gray-white to yellow-green and is the most abundant and widely-used form of asbestos. "Brown" asbestos, (aka/or Amosite) commonly from Africa, this form of asbestos has long fibers and a high iron content and is used in insulation "Blue" asbestos, (aka/or Crocidolite) is from Africa and Australia. It is the fibrous form of the amphibole riebeckite. Blue asbestos is commonly thought of as the most dangerous type of asbestos.

12 Asbestos fibres

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15 Where is it found in a building

16 Asbestos containing vinyl floor tiles Perforated AIB ceiling tiles damaged around the light fitting Asbestos fire blanket

17 Pipe insulated using both asbestos lagging and rope Asbestos cement roof (weathered exterior)

18 Unscrewing of an AIB ceiling tile Damaged asbestos paneling

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25 Measures used by Government to control working with asbestos

26 Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 Replaces: The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 The Asbestos (Licensing) Regulations 1983 (as amended) The Asbestos (Prohibitions) Regulations 1992 (as amended) Other Legislation in addition to the above: The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (CDM) The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

27 What’s new in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006? The duties under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 are largely the same as under the previous regulations, but there are some important changes: There is a new, lower control limit (which no one must go over) of 0.1 fibres per cubic centimeter of air measured over four hours. Work with textured coatings will, generally, not need to be done by a licensed contractor. It will still need to be done safely by trained, competent people working to certain standards. Employers can no longer carry out work in their own premises with their own workers without a licence if the work would otherwise require a licence. The Regulations are clearer on training. Suitable training is required for anyone who is, or may be, exposed to asbestos.

28 What is a licence? Work with the most dangerous asbestos-containing materials (which give off high fibre levels when disturbed), requires a licence from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Work with most asbestos-containing materials requires a licence. Very minor work (which, in total, takes one person no more than one hour, or more people no more than two hours in any seven-day period) does not require a licence. A licence is not required for work when a risk assessment confirms that the exposure (without a respirator) will not go above 0.6 fibres per cubic centimeter in any ten- minute period or go over the control limit and the work involves certain materials.

29 What do the Regulations say and what should I do? The Regulations apply to all work with asbestos materials. They apply to all work with asbestos whether it requires a licence or not. Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises (regulation 4) Whoever has control of a building has a duty to manage the asbestos in their Buildings. The duty holder has to take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in the premises and, if so, how much, where they are and what condition they are in. This can – but does not have to – involve a survey. A suitable risk assessment should be made before carrying out any work which may expose employees to asbestos. It should always be assumed that asbestos could be present until a full survey is done, or it is demonstrated that no asbestos is present.

30 Identifying the presence of asbestos (regulation 5) No employer must carry out demolition, maintenance or any other work which exposes, or may expose, their employees to asbestos in any premises unless they have found out: whether asbestos is, or may be, present; what type of asbestos it is; what material it is in; and what condition it is in; Assessment of work which exposes employees to asbestos (reg 6) An employer shall not carry out work which is liable to expose his employees to asbestos unless he has made a risk assessment and recorded its findings. Planning work (regulation 7) No work should be carried out with asbestos unless a written plan of work detailing how that work is to be carried out has first been prepared. - Method Statement

31 Licensing of work with asbestos (regulation 8) An employer shall not undertake any work with asbestos unless he holds a licence granted under these regulations. Notification of work with asbestos (regulation 9) An employer shall not undertake any work with asbestos unless he has notified the enforcing authority ( HSE of local authority) at least 14 days before work is due to start. Information, instruction and training (regulation 10) Every employer must give adequate training to employees who are, or may be, exposed to asbestos, their supervisors and those who do work to help the employer comply with these Regulations. Preventing or reducing exposure (regulation 11) Employers have a duty to prevent exposure so far as is reasonably practicable. If exposure cannot be prevented, it must be reduced so far as is reasonably practicable without workers having to use masks.

32 Use of control measures etc (regulation 12) Maintenance of Control measures etc. (regulation 13) Provision and cleaning of protective clothing (reg 14) Arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies (reg 15) Duty to prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos (regulation 16) Cleanliness of premises and plant (regulation 17) Designated Areas (regulation 18) Air Monitoring (regulation 19) Standards for air testing and site clearance certification (regulation 20) Standards for analysis (regulation 21) Health records and medical surveillance (regulation 22) Washing and changing facilities (regulation 23) Storage, distribution and labelling of raw asbestos and asbestos waste (reg 24)

33 Practicalities and costs associated with asbestos

34 Typical example of a protected area - see reg 18 “respirator zone ”

35 Decontamination unit. See reg. 14, Provision and cleaning of protective clothing

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37 Example contract. Removal of 3 window cills and kitchen floor tiles, coupled with stripping out a riser cupboard in each of 25 flats cost in excess of £10,000 in total, including air testing and disposal to special tips, controlled by Wastes Regulation legislation. Due to an accident where the method statement and risk assessment were ignored by an electrician, further costs arose of ~ £2,750 for temporary air testing, removal of a lining within a cupboard and final clearance and certification carried out as an emergency.

38 Implications for the Insurance Industry

39 Material damage policies: Liability - AD and Perils policies would not pick up the day to day management of asbestos. Cover would arise for dealing with the disturbance of asbestos following an insured peril operating. Care needs to be exercised with contamination of property without the operative clause being complied with. Quantum -Additional costs Additional delays, including 14 day notice period. Adequacy of Sum Insured to cover unforeseen cost Textured coatings removal along with AA requirements.

40 Liability policies Leading case is the Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd (2002) This claim involved a mesothelioma case where Mr. Fairchild was exposed to asbestos and died. Issues include: Multiple defendants Burden of proof on defendant to prove duty of care on balance of probabilities One fibre can lead to mesohelioma. It is not related to exposure like asbestosis. Result- Court found for Defendant Subsequent case law enables a 100% recovery against one defendant.

41 Cost of Asbestos cases: General damages- Damages which are not capable of financial quantification at time of incident Mesothelioma£47,850 to £74,300 Lung Cancer£45,800 to £58,500 Asbestosis£28,000 to £61,500 Pleural thickening £22,400 to £45,800 Pleural plaques£6,100 to £7,125

42 Special damages- Financial losses which are capable of quantification at the time of the incident Example Heads of claim: Funeral expenses Statutory bereavement Dependency 1) loss of earnings 2) Loss of pension 3) loss of services Costs The above, coupled with General damages can be as much as £250k.

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44 Questions and Answers


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