11 September 2023
Recent HSI inspections of construction sites have identified poor practices in the storage of asbestos waste removed as part of construction and demolition works:
- in one case, for several months in an open skip
- in the other, left adjacent to a pedestrian route used by workers on site for several weeks
- in the latter case, the asbestos waste had been stored in general waste bags meaning it was difficult to identify the asbestos waste from other non-hazardous waste
The team discovered asbestos waste that had been stored for extended periods of time in the open.
Fig 1: Asbestos in open skip
How to deal with asbestos waste
The following guidance applies to licensable and non-licensable work with asbestos.
Asbestos waste should be removed from work sites to the asbestos waste facility at La Collette as soon as possible and by arrangement with the waste regulator.
Solid waste should be double-bagged using suitable, UN approved-packaging. This should include a red inner bag containing the appropriate asbestos warning label, and a clear outer bag. Large items should be double-wrapped in polythene sheeting (1000 gauge or equivalent) and labelled appropriately.
For non-licensed waste, both bags can be clear, but a red asbestos bag or printed label (with the same information as the bag) must be securely attached to indicate it is asbestos waste.
Where bagged or wrapped waste requires temporary storage, it must be kept in an appropriately locked skip or other suitable locked location. The temporary storage area should be located away from areas prone to vandalism or sensitive areas, such as school playgrounds.
Where asbestos waste is stored on site, and only where it is not reasonably practicable to transfer waste bags directly to a suitable skip, this should be in a dedicated, locked room which has appropriate warning signage and which has smooth and impervious surfaces to allow for thorough cleaning after bags have been removed. This is normally achieved through sheeting.
Key messages for the construction industry
All work involving the disturbance or removal of asbestos is considered high-risk construction work.
It is your responsibility to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase, including removal, storage and disposal of asbestos waste, in liaison with other contractors and to ensure safe work method statements are prepared for work with asbestos.
It is your responsibility to plan, manage and monitor your own work and to prepare safe work method statements for work with and on asbestos. These should include safe methods to remove, and if necessary store, asbestos waste.
Skip hire companies
If you are notified by a contractor that they require a skip for asbestos waste, they should be provided with a sealed, lockable skip in all circumstances.
The publication Exposure to asbestos in the workplace (ACoP) provides practical guidance to persons who have duties under Part 2 of the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 and the relevant parts of the Management in Construction) (Jersey) Regulations 2016 and carry out work that could result in people being exposed to asbestos.
Commercial asbestos disposal and transportation
Asbestos Essentials on the UK HSE
The Inspectorate can provide some advice by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning +44 (0) 1534 447300.