What should I do if I think I've uncovered asbestos during my work?

Asbestos kills. Stop work immediately.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance states that any asbestos materials on site should have been identified before work. If you uncover any hidden materials or dust, which you suspect may contain asbestos, stop work immediately and get advice.

Inform your employer immediately and contact your safety representative. Your employer must carry out a risk assessment. This will help your employer decide whether the work needs a specialist licensed contractor.

The law says that your employer can only require you to carry out non-licensed work on asbestos if you have been properly trained and supplied with the right protective equipment, such as a face mask and clothing, special washing facilities and a safe disposal procedure.

For more information, see the HSE's asbestos webpages and the joint TUC and HSE guide for safety reps on Asbestos (PDF, 177KB).

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.