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Topic: Asbestos

asbestos priority assessment algorithm
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Asbestos priority assessment algorithm

Asbestos priority assessment algorithm

If you have asbestos-containing materials in your premises you must assess the risk posed by the material. Use our algorithm to do this.

Asbestos risk assessment

The first step in the management of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) is to have them identified, ideally by a specialist surveyor. When you receive your surveyors report, it will include an assessment of condition. This is written as a score of between zero and twelve, where twelve indicates the highest risk. This is known as the “material assessment score”.

The condition of the material is a significant consideration in your risk assessment but it is not the whole story. You also need to consider the area where the ACM is located to identify the likelihood of staff and others being exposed. This part of the risk assessment is a highly specific process which uses an Asbestos Priority Assessment Algorithm. We’ve produced a version of this document which is based on the HSE’s form.

Note. It is rare for this part of the assessment to be carried out by the surveying company as they don’t generally have sufficient knowledge of your activities. This is therefore a job to be done on behalf of the employer occupying the building or the other responsible party. If necessary obtain help from a health and safety advisor.

What’s included?

The document is set out over three pages.

Work through these pages and by the end you will have a single figure expressing the priority to be given to the management of the ACMs. This single figure is obtained by adding the scores from four question sets:

  • Normal occupant activity
  • “Likelihood of disturbance”
  • Human exposure potential
  • Maintenance activity”.

Some of these question sets are divided into sub-sections but the result will be an average score of between zero and three.

On the final page there’s a table for you to write down your four sectional scores and to create a total priority score by adding them together. A look-up table shows how to interpret the priority score.

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