Important Considerations When Installing Solar Panels on Asbestos Roofs
As environmental consciousness and renewable energy continue to gain momentum, many individuals and organizations are exploring solar power as a viable solution. However, it is crucial to understand the implications of installing solar panels on roofs containing asbestos, particularly in light of the Asbestos Abatement Regulations of 2020.
These regulations, specifically through the requirements of an asbestos management plan, mandate that all employers must make provisions for a final phase-out date in accordance with regulation 6(2)(c) for all asbestos-containing materials at the workplace. Moreover, certain activities are explicitly prohibited, such as the use of electric power tools like angle grinders or any other fast-moving equipment for cutting, grinding, or drilling.
Drilling into asbestos cement roof sheets, regardless of the speed, can release harmful fibres and increase the surface area of the asbestos material, leading to the dispersion of asbestos dust. Even replacing screws or utilizing existing screw-holes can pose risks of damaging the asbestos roof sheets and releasing fibres during the installation process and subsequent maintenance.
Furthermore, the installation of solar panels on asbestos roofs can prevent or restrict employers from adequately inspecting the condition of the asbestos as mandated by the regulations. This raises concerns about compliance with the Asbestos Abatement Regulations of 2020, particularly when leaving the asbestos roof sheets in place on the building, making the eventual complete abatement of all asbestos highly improbable.
It is imperative to be cognizant of these factors to avoid unnecessary expenses and legal complications in the future. Prior to embarking on your solar journey, ensure a thorough understanding of the legal requirements associated with asbestos-containing roofs. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and compliant installation process while prioritising the well-being of both individuals and the environment.