MOM and WSH Council unveil enhanced asbestos regulations
The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday unveiled enhanced regulations for work involving asbestos, a substance that could potentially cause lung cancer.
The WSH (Asbestos) Regulations will replace the existing Factories (Asbestos) Regulations and take effect from May 1. They were put together with the consultation of industry and public.
Under the new regulations, a competent person must be appointed to ascertain if asbestos-containing materials are present before commencement of demolition or renovation works on buildings built before Jan 1, 1991. Such buildings may have asbestos-containing materials like corrugated roofs, ceiling boards, floor tiling and partition walls, said Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Dr Amy Khor, while introducing the new regulations.
Second, upon ascertaining that asbestos is present, asbestos removal work can only be done by an approved asbestos removal contractor under the supervision of a competent person. This will protect workers and "prevent the release of asbestos fibres into the air which can affect the public", Dr Khor said. The regulations also specify the technical requirements regarding the removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.