3 March 2000

WATCH OUT, ASBESTOS

FARM buildings will be more expensive to demolish and harder to buy second-hand, thanks to last Novembers ban on the sale of products containing asbestos.

Asbestos was widely used in farming in the form of asbestos cement in roof sheets. The ban applies to new and second-hand products, so you cannot sell old asbestos roof sheets or even use your own ones that may have been stacked for use at a later date.

Asbestos cement is categorised as specialist waste and can only be disposed of in a licensed dump. The impact on the farming industry is likely to be a reduction in available second hand buildings and increased costs if you need to demolish an existing building.

The owner of the building has a duty of care to survey the building and record the areas where asbestos-containing materials are to be found and also the condition of the material. It is essential that no fibres are released from the material and all steps taken to prevent this. If work is being carried out on this part of the building, those employed must be informed of the areas containing asbestos fibres. This will enable due care and safety measures are taken into account.