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Do Scaffolders Need A License When Erecting Scaffolding For Asbestos Removal?

If your organisation requires the erection of Cambridge scaffolding for the purpose of removing materials containing asbestos, you need to choose a scaffolding firm with care. However, one area that causes a lot of confusion is whether you need a Cambridge scaffold firm with an asbestos license or not. Read on to find out more.

A lot of asbestos removal firms are unsure on this matter, and this is because of the wording in the Approved Code of Practice 143, which can be slightly confusing. It states the following: “Erecting scaffolding when it is foreseeable that the asbestos may be disturbed, and/or when the scaffold forms part of an enclosure, will be licensable work.” This has caused a lot of confusion, resulting in many company owners feeling they need to choose licensed Cambridge scaffolding contractors irrespective of the nature of the work. They think if asbestos is involved, a license is required. Actually, this isn’t the case. It does not mean that all scaffolding companies in Cambridge need a license. This is because scaffolding framework is not part of the enclosure. The word ‘enclosure’ refers to an area that has been created with the purpose of containing possible airborne fibres by any means, with the most common being fitting polythene sheeting. This is not what is intended with scaffold framework. A licensed removal contractor will take care of the containment element, and the scaffold is then handed back to the contractor.

So, you only need to look for an asbestos licensed scaffolding Cambridge firm if it is foreseeable that exposure to asbestos will occur. For example, if there were adaptions or alterations made within a live enclosure. You can also refer to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 for further information on this. The regulations state the type of work that requires a licensed contractor. It states that you need a licensed contractor if the work is a long-term project, if you cannot clearly demonstrate that you will not exceed the control limit, or if it involves asbestos insulation or an asbestos insulating board. Licensable work also includes any work whereby the risk assessment cannot validate that the control limit will not be surpassed, any work on asbestos coating, and any work whereby employees’ exposure to asbestos is not of low intensity and not sporadic. As you can see, scaffolding framework does not fit into any of those categories, clearly indicating that a license is not required. But, of course, you still need an experienced firm that has worked on similar jobs and has a good reputation.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding what is and is not required when choosing a Cambridge scaffolding firm for your asbestos removal job. Of course, existing General Asbestos Awareness training and workplace Risk Assessment requirements still remain.