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Increasing Asbestos Awareness And Reducing Exposure Risk With Notifiable Non-Licensable Work

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimate that there are still some four million properties around the UK, which are likely to contain hidden asbestos materials, and often encountered in a friable ( fragile and disintegrating) condition. Any attempt to remove can result in fibres becoming airborne and inhaled by anyone in close proximity, from home owner or tenant, company employee to public visitors, as well as building and demolition workers.

It is frequently reported that still far too many firms seem to possess little or no asbestos awareness or training to correctly deal with the potential health risks. To minimise time and costs, the health and safety procedures are often simply ignored when existing building materials found to contain asbestos (ACMs) are dismantled and disposed of alongside standard building waste.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, which came into force on the 6th April, updates previous asbestos regulations by implementing EU Directive 2009/148/EC, and targets changes at around three quarters of a million workers in companies involved with non-licensable asbestos work. From now on, the “Non-Licensable” category of asbestos work will be divided into two with an additional category, to be known as “Notifiable Non-Licensable Work” (NNLW).

According to the HSE, ” All non-licensed work is required to be carried out with the appropriate controls in place. Employers will also have an obligation for notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW)”, which means they must:

  • Notify work with asbestos to the relevant enforcing authority.
  • Ensure medical examinations are carried out.
  • Maintain registers of work (health records).

The process involves specifying whether a type of asbestos work is either licensable, NNLW or non-licensed work in each case. To do this, a risk assessment must be carried out first to identify the type of asbestos-containing material (ACM) and an evaluation of its condition.

If the work is exempt from the need for a licence, it must be then determined if it is notifiable non-licensed work or just non-licensed work. The HSE advise that the key factors to consider are based on the type of work planned, whether maintenance, removal, encapsulation, or air monitoring and the collection and analysis of asbestos samples.

Identifying asbestos type is crucial. Although the most toxic forms were banned from use in 1985, white chrysotile asbestos fibres continued to be incorporated into a variety of building materials, including insulation wallboard (AIB), cement roofing, surface coatings and sprayed insulation, tiles and soffits, infill and adhesive tapes, etc. An import ban on chrysotile in 1999 was followed by a full ban in 2005. However, it must be assumed that any property built or renovated at any time until the end of the twentieth century has to be suspected of containing asbestos material.

Asbestos found in a fragile, friable condition is particularly prone to release fibres and is liable to be designated NNLW while work which disturbs the least friable materials e.g. asbestos cement can normally be treated as non-licensed work. Encapsulated asbestos, such as cement, paint or plastic, which are considered to be firmly bonded in a matrix, are more likely to be found in good condition and can usually be treated as non-licensed work.

The ever present risk is the disturbance and breathing in of asbestos fibres. Once ingested they embed in the lung linings and can eventually cause asbestosis disease or form the deadly incurable tumours of mesothelioma cancer.

A long gestation period of between 15 to 50 years is known to elapse before the first asbestosis symptoms appear, by which time, the disease may have spread to adjacent tissues or organs. A patient’s survival rate after a conformed diagnosis can be less than 6 months.

Under the requirements of the NNLW, the HSE requires ” brief written records should be kept of non-licensed work, which has to be notified, e.g. copy of the notification with a list of workers present on-site, plus the level of likely exposure of those workers to asbestos”.

By April 2015, each and every worker who is exposed to asbestos must be under medical “surveillance” every three years. The employer must maintain a register for each worker, which records the type and duration of work carried out with asbestos and is to be retained for at least 40 years along with copies of all medical reports.

The HSE state that ” Workers who are already under health surveillance for licensed work need not have another medical examination for non-licensed work but medicals for notifiable non-licensed work are not acceptable for those doing licensed work”.

With more than 1.8 million people annually exposed each year to asbestos and at least 2,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed annually, the new Regulations are an attempt to reduce disregard for health and safety on property renovations when there is still a potential hazard from exposure to asbestos.

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The Three Phases of DUI "Detection"

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Contrary to public belief, it is not illegal to drink and drive. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drive while intoxicated, drive while impaired, or drive in a condition that your state says is illegal. Believe it or not, police officers are trained to recognize when a driver is in that condition. Now, before I get too far, I want to point out that I am a DUI attorney in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. But this is not legal advice. It is merely information, and is not specific to any situation. If you need legal advice or professional assistance for your own situation, then you should contact an attorney that is licensed in your state.

For purposes of uniformity, throughout this article I will use the abbreviation “DWI”, but you could easily substitute “DUI”,” OUI”, or “OWI”. Police officers are trained to divide DWI detection into three phases: vehicle in motion, personal contact, and pre-arrest screening.

1) Phase 1: Vehicle in Motion.

In phase 1, the police officer is trying to answer the question of whether to stop the vehicle. It begins with the initial observation of the vehicle and the manner in which it is being driven.

2) Phase 2: Personal Contact.

In phase 2, the police officer is trying to answer the question of whether to ask the driver to exit the vehicle. It begins with the initial contact with the driver and the observations of the police officer. During the personal contact phase, there is an opportunity for the officer to observe and speak with the driver.

3) Phase 3: Pre-Arrest Screening.

In phase 3, the police officer is trying to answer the question of whether there is probable cause to arrest the driver for DWI. The bulk of the pre-arrest screening is the field sobriety tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation, recognizes three standardized field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test. Additionally, officers often administer a preliminary breath test or other non-standardized field sobriety tests.

Throughout the three phases, the police officer is trained to look for certain clues that increase the likelihood that the driver is impaired. The officer is also trained to include each clue in a police report. Sometimes, all three phases are not present in a particular DWI stop. For example, if there is a collision involved or the stop took place at a roadblock, one or more of the phases may be absent.

Of course, the next logical question becomes what to do when armed with this information. That is what your DUI attorney is for – to use this knowledge and any other evidence to assemble your best defense.

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The PennDot Drivers License Medical Recall

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In Pennsylvania, when a person is examined by a doctor and diagnosed with a disorder or disability that renders that person “incompetent” to operate a motor vehicle, that doctor must notify PennDot within then (10) days of the examination. Common ailments that render a person “incompetent” to operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania are: seizures, poor eye sight, and drug or alcohol addiction. When PennDot receives that notice from the doctor they then send out a notice to the driver advising them that their driver’s license is being “recalled” due to their condition. In the plainest terms, they are telling you they think you are too sick or infirm to drive a car – so they are not going to let you. Now what to do?

Once a driver gets the recall notice, they have thirty (30) days to appeal PennDot’s decision. There is a problem here – the driver does not get to keep their license pending their appeal unless the driver submit, and pass, a PennDot medical examination (and who wants to do that?) or produce independent competent medical evidence, usually from a doctor of their own choosing, that can convince a judge the driver is not so much of a danger as not let let the driver keep their license until the appeal is heard. This in itself can can require some pretty fancy footwork by the lawyer that the driver has hopefully retained to keep his license. Which begs the question – “What does the lawyer do for the client in a case like this”?

Firstly, the lawyer must make sure that the client may keep his license pending his appeal as mentioned above. Next, the lawyer must keep PennDot from taking it at all. This issue very often falls into the lap of a Court of Common Pleas Judge. This is because, at some point, the driver will have a court hearing on whether this alleged medical condition actual does disqualify the client from driving safely. Here, the Pa. medical license recall attorney’s job is to: cross examine PennDot’s medical evidence AND present the client’s own evidence, from his own expert medical professional, and persuade the judge that Penndot has not carried their burden of showing that he client suffers from a medical condition that renders them “incompetent” to operate a car. If the lawyer is successful, he has earned his money and the client goes home with his drivers license. Good stuff.

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Information About Driving Licence Offense Codes

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Driving convictions usually result in a fine and points on your license. Typically, these endorsements are records, which are kept against the offender for minimum of four years and maximum of up to eleven years depending upon the seriousness of the motor offense. The offender can view his or her records online and check the penalty points and the term associated with the offense. You can be disqualified from driving if the number of points accumulated exceeds 12 within a 3 year period or less.

Codes and Fines

Each offense and endorsement is identified with its own unique code and has certain penalty points associated with it. There are different kinds of offenses, such as:

• Accident related

• Driver disqualification

• Careless or irresponsible driving

• Vehicle condition

• Dangerous or reckless driving

• DUI

• Insurance

• Miscellaneous

Some of the offenses with their codes and penalties are shown below.

Accident Related Offenses

Offense Code / Description / Penalty Points

AC10 / Hit and Run case. The driver fails to stop after involved in an accident / 5 – 10

AC20 / The driver fails or deliberately fails to report an accident within 24 hours / 5 – 10

AC 30 / Miscellaneous accident offenses / 4 – 9

Disqualified or Suspended Driver Offenses

Offense Code / Description / Penalty Points

BA10 / Driving a vehicle when it has been disqualified by a court order / 6

BA30 / Attempting to drive a vehicle whilst suspended or disqualified by a court / 6

BA40 / Causing death by driving whilst disqualified to drive / 3 – 11

BA60 / Causing serious injury on a disqualified license / 3 – 11

Offenses for Careless Driving

Offense Code / Description / Penalty Points

BA10 / Driving a vehicle when it has been disqualified by a court order / 6

BA30 / Attempting to drive a vehicle whilst suspended or disqualified by a court / 6

BA40 / Causing death by driving whilst disqualified to drive / 3 – 11

BA60 / Causing serious injury on a disqualified license / 3 – 11

Using a vehicle in a poor condition

Offense Code / Description / Penalty Points

CU10 / Driving a vehicle with faulty breaks / 3

CU20 / Creating a hazardous situation by driving an unsuitable vehicle / 3

CU30 / Driving a vehicle with worn out or damaged tyres / 3

CU40 / Driving a vehicle with a defective steering wheel / 3

Reckless Driving

Offense Code / Description / Penalty Points

DD10 / Dangerous driving leading to a serious injury / 3 – 11

DD40 / Reckless or dangerous driving / 3 – 11

DD60 / Manslaughter due to reckless driving / 3 – 11

DD80 / Causing death due to dangerous or reckless driving / 3 – 11

These are some of the offenses along with their penalty points and their description. For more information in regards to offence codes, please visit http://www.licencecheck.co.uk/driving-licence-offence-codes

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