What you should know about managing asbestos

A quick guide to managing asbestos

Here’s what should you know about managing asbestos if you’re a property owner or occupier.

  1. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) may be in any building built or refurbished before 2000.
  2. If asbestos is intact and in good condition, it can be safely managed. As soon as asbestos is damaged, fibres are released into the air and can cause serious disease.
  3. The fibres cannot be seen which is why asbestos is called the silent killer.
  4. More people die of asbestos-related conditions in the UK (c5000) than in road traffic accidents (c1800).
  5. Under Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, there is a duty to identify where there might be asbestos on the premises.
  6. For day-to-day building management, a competent person should complete an asbestos management survey to locate any asbestos.
  7. Create a register to identify each ACM, and keep it up to date. Include re-inspections and removal of materials.
  8. Provide clear information to the relevant people to avoid ACMs being accidentally damaged during work or normal occupation.
  9. Create an emergency procedure for responding to potential accidental damage to ACMs.
  10. Use an asbestos management plan to describe your strategy for managing ACMs and keep it up to date.
  11. Asbestos labelling is not a legal requirement, but it is a good idea to provide a final warning to workers.
  12. Before buildings are refurbished or demolished, a more detailed asbestos survey is required. A management survey cannot be relied upon in isolation.
  13. Even surveys might not identify all ACMs, so relevant workers should attend annual asbestos awareness training.
  14. If you have a landlord, the lease will state what your responsibilities are. If you’re responsible for maintenance and repair, this usually means you are responsible for managing asbestos.
  15. Asbestos should only be removed under strict conditions. Most asbestos removal can only be undertaken by licensed contractors.
  16. Removal involves construction work and techniques, so Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 also apply.
  17. Asbestos waste must be carefully managed and removed to a licensed waste facility. Request a consignment note detailing the type of waste being removed, and where it is going.