Asbestos from ground – a site guide (RP1015)

Poor disposal practices, demolition and other anthropogenic processes have resulted in asbestos often being present in the ground particularly on brownfield sites. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states that all ‘duty holders’ in construction projects has the responsibility to reduce risk associated with asbestos ‘as far as is reasonable practicable’.  Other asbestos related regulations include, the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. These also extend to asbestos found during ground investigation and other similar activities.

The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists (AGS)’s Site investigation asbestos risk assessment was published in 2013 with the aims to protect site investigation and geotechnical laboratory personnel. The Asbestos in Soil, Made Ground and Construction Materials – Joint Industry Working Group is also preparing an Industry Code of Practice.

Currently the only comprehensive guidance that is available and appropriate for UK projects is CIRIA report C733 Asbestos in soil and made ground: a guide to understanding and managing risk published in March 2014. Although the report is relevant to most construction professionals, it was not prepared specifically for site staff. The publication will be availablein January 2017.

This project will build on CIRIA C733 by:

  • showing the types of products and materials in which asbestos may be present on site
  • improve confidence when working on sites where there may be asbestos and know what actions should be taken
  • enabling site operatives / staff work more safely and efficiently
  • reducing potential exposure to asbestos for site staff working on site and therefore the liability of the client and contractor.

Project status

The publication will be available in January 2017.


Further information
To find out more please contact Joanne Kwan at CIRIA.