Is it Licensed, Notifiable Non-licensed Works or Non-Licensed Works?

First you need to decide whether the works are classified as licensed, notifiable non-licensed works (NNLW) or non-licensed works (NLW). Work on high risk or friable asbestos containing materials are likely to need a licensed asbestos removal contractor (LARC).

Work on lower risk or non-friable asbestos containing materials will not necessarily require a LARC. If the material is in good condition and will not be degraded by the planned works then it is likely to be classed as NLW. If the material is low risk but in poor condition or likely to be significantly damaged during removal it will most likely be classed as NNLW.

In most cases the asbestos survey report will state whether the recommended remedial works require a licensed contractor. The survey provider should be able to assist you in compiling a suitable specification and may even have an approved list of contractors that they can approach on your behalf.


Any company removing or working on asbestos must have appropriate controls in place as well as supplying staff with correct information, instruction and training. A company specialising in NLW and NNLW will need to be able to demonstrate that they meet the above requirements but won’t necessarily be audited to ensure compliance. They are also unlikely to have the same level of training and resources as a licensed asbestos removal company.

Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor(LARC)

A licensed asbestos removal company is one that has been assessed by HSE as being competent to work with more friable, higher risk asbestos materials. As part of the assessment the HSE will look at:

  • Health and safety management including
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Training and competence
    • Worker involvement
  • Formal assessment of understanding and knowledge of specific asbestos matters
    • Training
    • Medical certification
    • RPE including face fit testing
    • Hardware including maintenance records and suitability

As well as selecting the right contractor it is important to ensure removal specifications are well documented and fully understood by all parties. Asbestos removal work conducted to a poor specification can cause more problems long-term.

Certifying asbestos removal has been completed to the necessary standard

Where licensed asbestos removal work has taken place, an independent Analyst will need to be employed to conduct a visual inspection and Air Monitoring to check the work has been completed to the necessary standard. If this testing proves to be satisfactory the Analyst will issue a certificate of re-occupation, which must be retained for future reference.

If not instructed otherwise, the LARC will appoint their own preferred analyst, but it’s preferable to appoint your own Analyst to ensure independence. Vintec can undertake the analytical work on your behalf or alternatively you can find a list of accredited Analytical firms on the UKAS website.

Examples of work requiring a licensed contractor

  • removing asbestos sprayed coatings (limpet asbestos)
  • removal or other work with asbestos pipe lagging
  • any work involving loose fill asbestos insulation
  • work on asbestos millboard
  • cleaning up significant quantities of loose/fine debris containing asbestos dust (where the work is not sporadic and of low intensity, the control limit will be exceeded or it is not short duration work)
  • virtually all removal or work on AIB

Any of the above will require formal 14-day notification to the HSE. This will be arranged by the LARC.

A full list of LARCs is available on the HSE website by clicking HSE – Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractors

Examples of Notifiable Non-Licensed Works (NNLW)

  • work on or removal of asbestos cement products (eg roof sheeting) where the material will be substantially damaged or broken up (eg as a result of fire or flood damage)
  • asbestos cement products (eg roof sheeting) where the material will be substantially broken up
  • removal of asbestos paper and cardboard products
  • large-scale removal of textured decorative coatings using steaming or gelling methods

All the above will need to be notified to the relevant enforcing authority. Unlike notification of licensed works, there is no requirement to give 14-days’ notice.

Examples of Non-Licensed Works (NLW)

  • drilling of textured decorative coatings for installation of fixtures/fittings
  • encapsulation and sealing-in work on asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that are in good condition
  • maintenance of asbestos cement products (eg on roof sheeting, tiles and rainwater goods)
  • maintenance work on asbestos gaskets or asbestos rope if this can be done without substantial breakage
  • removal of asbestos-containing thermoplastic and vinyl floor tiles, bitumen roof felt, shingles, damp-proofing coatings, and mastics
  • removal of asbestos-containing felt and paper
  • painting/repainting AIB that is in good condition
  • removal of asbestos cement products, (eg roof sheeting and rainwater goods) provided the material is carefully handled/removed without breaking up
  • removal of small areas of textured decorative coatings using suitable dust-reducing methods, to support other activities such as installation/replacement of smoke alarms and light fittings
  • removal of textured decorative coatings provided that this can be done without deterioration of the material, (eg if the backing board is carefully cut around to achieve virtually intact removal)

Vintec do not offer asbestos removal – we like to keep our Asbestos Testing and Air Monitoring services completely independent from removal. However, we are more than happy to manage the asbestos removal process for you and have a list of trusted removal suppliers that you can use.

Get in touch for expert advice and to discuss your asbestos needs – see how you can utilise Vintec’s decades of asbestos experience. Call us on 01923 664411







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