Drilling holes in asbestos insulating board (AIB)

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1 Use the right kit
  • Cover work area with plastic sheets secured with tape to help catch waste
  • Wear a disposable, correctly fitted FFP3 face mask and Type 5 disposable overalls
  • Wear the overalls one size too big and put the legs over the top of footwear
  • Do not re-use disposable overalls and masks
  • Work on any AIB material lasting more than two hours, even if different tradespeople are sharing the work, needs a licensed asbestos contractor. The time limit includes setting up, cleaning and clearing up.


    No one tradesperson can work with AIB for more than one hour a week. 

2 Keep dust down
  • Put masking tape across the front and back (if possible) of the panel where it is being drilled to stop it crumbling
  • Clearly mark drilling spots and cover with a blob of wallpaper paste or shaving foam making sure the marks are still visible
  • Drill through the paste or foam
  • If you are running cables through the hole, make it large enough so that the cables pass through easily
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe off the paste/foam
  • Wipe the side where the drill comes out if you can reach it and also wipe the drill bit
  • Put the used cloth in a plastic sack
  • Put sealant around the hole
  • If you are running cables through the hole use a plastic sleeve
  • If you are drilling through thick board, drilling large holes or drilling more than 6 holes, place a plastic cowl around the drill bit and insert the nozzle of a Class H Vacuum cleaner to collect the dust
  • Use a manual drill if possible, otherwise set your power drill to the slowest speed.

3 Clean up properly
  • Use a damp cloth or Class H vacuum cleaner with a special filter to clean up
  • Do not use a domestic vacuum cleaner or a brush as these will spread asbestos fibres into the air
  • Double bag all waste including masks, overalls, cloths and plastic sheets in plastic sacks, seal with tape and label as asbestos waste
  • Contact the local tips in your area to find one that accepts asbestos waste
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