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Topic: Risk assessments - workplace

drilling holes into textured coatings
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Drilling holes into textured coatings

Drilling holes into textured coatings

Textured coatings are usually found as a type of decorative finish to walls and ceilings. Failure to take the proper precautions when drilling into them could lead to dust, which may contain asbestos, being inhaled by staff and others.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with drilling into textured coatings or asbestos cement sheets and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Drilling Holes into Textured Coatings. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

Note. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 removed the reference to textured coatings, contained in the previous regulations. However, that does not mean it is safe to drill or cut them without taking some precautions against the release of fibres. Therefore, you will still need to assess the risks and have a safe system of work in place.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. For your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found in your workplace. 

 

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