Asbestos Risk Management in Construction 

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which was widely used in construction materials from the 1940s to the 1980s. It is now known to be a carcinogen, and exposure to asbestos can lead to several serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

As a result, it is essential to manage the asbestos risk in construction. This involves identifying asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), assessing the risk of exposure, and taking steps to control the risk. 

Identifying ACMs 

The first step in asbestos risk management is to identify ACMs. This can be completed by visually inspecting materials for signs of asbestos, such as a white, flaky texture. If you suspect that a material may contain asbestos, you should have it tested by a qualified asbestos surveyor. 

Assessing the Risk of Exposure 

Next, you need to assess the risk of exposure. This involves considering the following factors: 

  • The type of ACM 
  • The condition of the ACM 
  • The amount of ACM present 
  • The likelihood of exposure 

Controlling the Risk of Exposure 

Once you have assessed the risk of exposure, you must take steps to control the risk. This may involve: 

  • Encapsulating the ACM 
  • Removing the ACM 
  • Isolating the ACM 


Encapsulation involves sealing the ACM in a protective coating. This can be a temporary solution, but it is not a permanent solution. 


Removal is the most effective way to control the risk of exposure to asbestos. However, asbestos removal must be carried out by a qualified asbestos contractor. 


Isolation involves restricting access to the ACM. This can be done by erecting barriers or by placing warning signs in the vicinity. 

Additional tips for managing asbestos risk in construction: 

  • Keep good records of all asbestos work that is carried out. 
  • Train your workers on how to identify and control asbestos hazards. 
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all workers who may be at risk. 
  • Monitor the air quality in areas where asbestos work is being carried out. 

Asbestos is a serious health hazard, and it is important to take steps to manage asbestos risk in construction. By following the steps outlined above, you can help to protect yourself and your workers from exposure to asbestos.

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on asbestos safety 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment template covering asbestos management 
  • Management system to document control the policy on asbestos management 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of work activity working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on asbestos management 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving asbestos on site, both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding ACMs to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 

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