In Denmark, using building material containing asbestos is prohibited. Nevertheless, asbestos can still be found in buildings built before 1989, and may constitute a serious health hazard to construction workers in connection with demolition or renovation. If you get asbestos dust into your lungs, you risk developing lung cancer or cancer of the pleura. Read below about how to protect yourselves against asbestos at work.
Check whether there is asbestos in the building
Before you start working, you must be certain that there is no risk of being exposed to asbestos. Ask the contractor whether asbestos has been registered in the building, and check whether the building material contains asbestos. This includes tile adhesives, floor fillers, vinyl flooring, pipe insulation as well as roofing and facade cladding.
The employer is responsible for ensuring that work is carried out in a manner that gives off the least possible dust, and that does not spread asbestos. In connection with indoor demolition, you need to cover the work area with plastic to make it dust-proof, and the work area must be vented mechanically to prevent pressure difference.
You also need to protect yourselves with dust-repellent workwear and respiratory protective equipment, and make sure to clean up thoroughly with a class H vacuum cleaner, wash all surfaces and ventilate the area.
Training and instruction requirements
The employer must ensure that employees receive the necessary training and instruction if they are to work with material that contains asbestos.
If you are to tear down indoor building material containing asbestos, such as ceiling panels or pipe insulation, you also need to have undergone compulsory training in how to handle asbestos. Note that if your qualifications are from abroad, they must be approved by the Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) before commencement of work. The employer is responsible for documenting that your qualifications have been approved by the Danish WEA.
About asbestos waste
You must store and remove waste in closed, sealed packaging labelled to indicate that it contains asbestos. Dusty waste containing asbestos must be made damp.
Disposal of waste must be in accordance with regulations in the environmental legislation. Contact the local municipality.
Safety arrangements when working with asbestos
Remember to report the work to the Danish WEA
If you are to remove indoor building material containing asbestos, you must report this to the Danish WEA before commencement of work. This also applies if you are otherwise at risk of being exposed to asbestos, e.g. if you are to work with cement-slate roof panels containing asbestos.
When you report the work, you must describe the scope of the work, work methods and safety measures taken.
Notify work with asbestos (Business in Denmark)