Asbestos

There are common EU rules determining provisions concerning asbestos. The provisions apply to all activities where there is a risk that an employee will be exposed to the dust which contains asbestos.
asbestos Removal

To work with asbestos, you need a special permit from the Swedish Work Environment Authority, you also need training as well as a medical examination certificate. A company that conducts demolition work on materials that contain asbestos without permission from the Swedish Work Environment Authority risks having to pay a penalty up to SEK 400,000. Questions regarding products that contain asbestos are covered by the Chemicals Agency’s regulations.

Chemicals Agency website, opens in new window

Do you have the right training?

To be allowed to work with asbestos, the employee and the supervisor must have undergone training. If you have undergone training in your home country which complies with the requirements in the EU, it will be accepted. But you must be able to produce verified documentation that you have undergone the correct training.

There are two levels of training for those people who are working with asbestos, general and special training.

General training

General training on asbestos is a course for those who will be working for example with the machining and treatment of asbestos or materials containing asbestos. The training must also be completed by a supervisor on site. The supervisor must also have knowledge of liability issues, coordination measures and risk assessment. 

The training involves knowledge of:

  • the properties of asbestos
  • health effects
  • occurrence
  • safety  precautions
  • emergency measures
  • handling of personal protective equipment
  • work methods
  • control measures
  • waste management
  • decontamination measures
  • stipulations concerning medical surveillance.

Special training

Special training on asbestos is required for those who will be working with demolition/removal of asbestos or materials containing asbestos and for worksite supervisors. The emphasis of the training must lie with action strategies and practical exercises. The supervisor must also have knowledge of liability issues, coordination measures and risk assessment. 

The training involves knowledge of:

  • the properties of asbestos
  • health effects
  • occurrence
  • safety measures
  • emergency measures
  • handling of personal protective equipment
  • work methods
  • control measures
  • waste management
  • decontamination measures
  • stipulations concerning medical surveillance
  •  and demolition techniques with practical hands-on exercises.

Refresher training must be carried out every five years.

Do you have a medical certificate?

All personnel working with demolition/removal of asbestos or materials containing asbestos must produce a medical certificate, a so-called service certificate, in order to obtain a permit to work with asbestos. A certificate of this kind must always be sent in with the application.

It may also be necessary for you to produce a medical certificate in order to obtain a permit to carry out other types of work with asbestos. A certificate may never be older than three years. If the work is being carried on over a longer period of time, a new medical examination must be produced every 36 months from the day the work commenced.

The certificate must describe when the medical examination was carried out and whether the person examined can begin or continue to work with asbestos and the name of the doctor that carried out the medical examination.

How to apply for a permit

The type of permit required to work with asbestos can be found in the list below. The application must be sent by the employer to the Swedish Work Environment Authority in the district the work is to be carried out.

There are three different types of permits you can apply for and one notification you must register.

Application for a permit for work on the machining and treatment of asbestos or materials containing asbestos, in accordance with 11 § AFS 2006:1, pdf, opens in new window.

Application for a permit to carry out demolition/removal work involving asbestos or materials containing asbestos, in accordance with 12 § AFS 2006:1, pdf, opens in new window.

Notification to carry out demolition/removal work involving asbestos or materials containing asbestos in accordance with 17 § AFS 2006:1, pdf, opens in new window.

Application for handling of asbestos for purposes of research, development and analysis,in accordance with 10 § AFS 2006:1, pdf, opens in new window.

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Last updated 2017-06-01