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Protect yourselves from asbestos

In Denmark, it is forbidden to use building materials containing asbestos. However, asbestos can still be found in buildings constructed before 1990, and can pose a serious health hazard to construction workers during demolition or renovation. If you get asbestos dust in your lungs, you may be at risk of developing e.g. lung cancer or pleural cancer. Continue reading to learn how to protect yourself from asbestos at work.

Check if there is asbestos in the building

Before starting work, the employer must conduct a preliminary check of whether there is asbestos in the building material. This applies to materials such as tile adhesive, floor putty, vinyl floors, pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, roof and facade cladding. If there are two or more companies working at the same time, the developer is obliged to check whether there is asbestos in the building.

Requirements for training, instruction and education

The employer must ensure that employees receive special training and instruction, if they are to
work with materials containing asbestos.

If you need to tear down internally used building materials containing asbestos, such as ceiling tiles or pipe insulation, you must have completed the mandatory 4-day asbestos management course. Please note that if your qualifications are from abroad, they must be recognised by the Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) before you can start working. It is the employer’s
responsibility to provide proof of this.

Keep dust to a minimum

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the work is conducted in a way that keeps
asbestos dust to an absolute minimum, and that the dust does not spread into the environment.
During demolition, which can cause a substantial amount of dust, you must cover the work site with plastic to make it dust-proof. The working area must also be mechanically ventilated to form negative pressure, and access to the area must occur through an airlock.

In addition, you must protect yourself with appropriate protective equipment, e.g. dust-repellent
suit, respirator, gloves and footwear. The employer must provide the protective equipment and is also obliged to ensure effective asbestos cleaning with a vacuum cleaner (class H), washing of all surfaces and ventilation.

About asbestos waste

You must store and dispose of the asbestos waste in suitable sealed packaging, and you must clearly mark that the packaging contains asbestos. Dusty asbestos waste must be moistened. Disposal of waste must be done according to the municipality’s instructions.

Safety when working with asbestos

Remember to report the work to the Danish Working Environment Authority

If you are going to conduct asbestos work, in most cases, you must report the work to the Danish Working Environment Authority before you start.

Read more about notification requirements

Fill out a work plan before starting work

If you are going to tear down asbestos-containing materials, you must prepare a written work plan before you start. You can use the Danish Working Environment Authority’s (WEA) work plan as long as you complete it in full.
The illustration shows how to work safely with asbestos

Read more about the regulations

Note that we have only highlighted the most important regulations on how to protect yourselves when working with asbestos.

Learn more about the regulations in the Danish Working Environment Authority's Guidelines and Executive Order as well as the MANUAL – Working Environment for Building and Construction prepared by the Sector Working Environment Committee for Building and Construction.

Manual: Working Environment for Building and Construction (BFA Bygge & Anlæg)

Any questions?

Contact Arbejdstilsynet
The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA)

Phone hours
Monday - Thursday: 8 - 15
Friday: 8 - 14

+45 70 12 12 88
Press 9 for English
at@at.dk

Last updated: 27-05-2024