Do I need to replace the explosion relief panel on my extraction unit?
You must replace the explosion relief panel on your extraction unit if it is of the bursting membrane type of explosion relief made from 'Klingerite' - recognisable by its orange/red colour.
Modern bursting membrane explosion relief panels are made from 'Klingersil' identifiable by grey / silver colour and do not need replacing as they do not contain asbestos. Generally if your extraction unit was manufactured after late 1999 it will not have asbestos containing membrane however, you should check it’s colour to be sure.
Klingerite membrane is manufactured from Chrysotile (white asbestos), the use of which is now forbidden. The legal obligation with regard to asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) is to inspect the condition, assess the risk to employees and make a plan to manage the risk. This information must be recorded in the Property Asbestos Register. If the asbestos is in good condition and it is not likely to be damaged and it is not likely to be worked on or disturbed it is usually safer to leave it in place and manage it. If the Asbestos is in poor condition or is likely to be damaged or disturbed you have to decide whether it should be repaired, sealed, enclosed or removed.
Unfortunately the function of an explosion relief membrane is to burst in the event of a rise in pressure. Therefore whilst the membrane may be in good condition if it was ever to deploy it would be damaged and asbestos fibres could be dispersed, you therefore have a legal duty to remove the panel and replace it with a non asbestos type.
P&J strongly advise all clients with Klingerite explosion membranes that they have the explosion relief panel replaced whilst still in good condition, with a non-asbestos containing explosion membrane.
The removal of these hazardous explosion relief panels falls within the 'Minor Works' category of 'Work with Asbestos which does not normally require a Licence'.
The removal work must be carried out by someone trained and competent to undertake the task and there is a legal requirement for the use of the correct personal protective equipment, a safe and appropriate specific work procedure detailed in both method statements and risk assessments that comply with the requirements of L27. P&J staff are trained in the safe removal and replacement of the explosion membrane and P&J risk assess the work and apply appropriate method statements.
Asbestos waste, whether this is small amounts of waste such as an explosion panel or large scale waste, is subject to waste management controls set out in the Special Waste Regulations 1996 and Control of Pollution Amendment Act 1989. All waste, including the removed panel, the debris from the work, disposable overalls and PPE used by the P&J technician have to be disposed of in a special asbestos waste container. This waste container can only be transported to a licensed disposal site by a licensed asbestos waste carrier such as P&J [Registered Carrier No KEN 473298].
If you wish P&J will leave the packaged waste on site for you to dispose of - you may have an asbestos skip in situ if you are having refurbishment works - or P&J will dispose of the waste at a licensed site; copies of all waste disposal documentation is retained by P&J for inspection.
As the waste has come from your site, you may need to register as a producer of hazardous waste - P&J will advise you if this is necessary, and register your site on your behalf if you are not already registered.