SOAS University of London

Health and Safety


In the past a variety of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) have been used in one form or another in the construction and fitments of most University buildings. ACMs can also be found in plant, equipment and appliances. It is important to remember that ACMs which remain undamaged and in good condition will not pose any risk to health. Asbestos fibres are only harmful to health if they are breathed in.

Work with asbestos is governed by The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (and associated Approved Code of Practice), which impose strict and complex legal requirements on all those carrying out work with asbestos. One of the principle aims of these Regulations is ensure that ACMs in buildings and fitments (including plant, equipment, fume cupboards etc) are properly managed so that any person, who may be affected, is not exposed to harmful asbestos fibres when carrying out their everyday duties.

It is not illegal to have ACMs within a building; however they need to be properly and effectively managed. The condition of any ACMs within a building may affect safety and therefore, they must not be in a condition that results in (or is likely to result in) airborne contamination. SOAS has a duty to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres where possible.

The Regulations also state that work which consists of the removal, repair or disturbance of asbestos insulation; asbestos coatings or asbestos insulation boards may only be carried out by contractors who are licensed by the HSE.

At SOAS we instruct accredited specialists to carry out surveys, management plans and re-inspections in line with statutory requirements.