September 24, 2022

Asbestos – Down on the Farm, where it might be and how to deal with it

It’s important that you get an asbestos management survey to ensure you comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012)
Back to Blogs

Farms are often rural idylls: rolling hills, sunshine, swaying crops in the breeze, lambs, kids and calves, it’s easy for us all to romanticise a picture of it in our minds.

The mind certainly doesn’t think about asbestos containing materials and where they might be, but the agricultural setting is still synonymous with this useful, yet heavily regulated (by CAR 2012) building material.

Asbestos is often found as sheeting and rainwater goods for:

barn building
  • Barn roofs,
  • Barge boards,
  • Guttering,
  • Down pipes,
  • Panels between wallboards

Other locations include

  • Brake linings of old vehicles
  • Floor coverings
  • Toilet cisterns
  • Tanks,
  • It has even been used to make beehives.

This list is just a summary of potential places it could be and if you’re a farmer with a range of farm buildings, then it’s important that you get an asbestos management survey to ensure you comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) so you can manage, monitor and maintain your asbestos.  This will help keep you and your farm hands safe, whilst providing a baseline of data with which you can show contactors when they come to the farm.

When looking for the best option for managing the asbestos to farm buildings there are a number of important factors –

Is the asbestos damaged?

Should the material be tested for asbestos?

Can the asbestos be repaired (this will be considerably cheaper)

Will the material continue to degrade and become damaged?

Will it cost me more in the long term?

What risk to i have to my health and that of my family and workers?

Cows inside a pen in a barn

You may expose or disturb asbestos fibres when you:

  • repair or replace mechanical parts, like clutch or brake linings on an old vehicle
  • remove or work on hot water systems with insulated pipes or boilers
  • drill or saw roof or wall panels, for example if you rewire or install fans or heaters
  • demolish buildings, roofs or walls built before 2000
  • drill, cut or break asbestos cement

It’s also important that you have an Asbestos Management Plan, a formal document that will help you comply with Regulation 4: Duty to Manage (of CAR 2012) which will outline how you monitor your asbestos, who is responsible for management, if you have any training needs and what your action plan is.

Having both a survey and management plan in place will not only help with regulatory compliance but will also be valid (and often a requirement) for insurance companies and financial institutions, who may wish to see these documents prior to lease renewals, sales, re-mortgages or loans, making the application and processing for these less arduous and smoother.

So if you’re a farmer, or responsible for compliance on a farm and you are unsure if you have either an asbestos management survey and asbestos management plan, get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you.

Need help with asbestos in rural locations?

Need asbestos testing, asbestos surveys, asbestos management plans in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London contact Summit Environmental on

01444 812 388

Back to Blogs

You might also like...

All Blogs