A quick guide to managing asbestos
Here’s what should you know about managing asbestos if you’re a property owner or occupier.
- Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) may be in any building built or refurbished before 2000.
- 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.
- The fibres cannot be seen which is why asbestos is called the silent killer.
- More people die of asbestos-related conditions in the UK (c5000) than in road traffic accidents (c1800).
- Under Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, there is a duty to identify where there might be asbestos on the premises.
- For day-to-day building management, a competent person should complete an asbestos management survey to locate any asbestos.
- Create a register to identify each ACM, and keep it up to date. Include re-inspections and removal of materials.
- Provide clear information to the relevant people to avoid ACMs being accidentally damaged during work or normal occupation.
- Create an emergency procedure for responding to potential accidental damage to ACMs.
- Use an asbestos management plan to describe your strategy for managing ACMs and keep it up to date.
- Asbestos labelling is not a legal requirement, but it is a good idea to provide a final warning to workers.
- Before buildings are refurbished or demolished, a more detailed asbestos survey is required. A management survey cannot be relied upon in isolation.
- Even surveys might not identify all ACMs, so relevant workers should attend annual asbestos awareness training.
- 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.
- Asbestos should only be removed under strict conditions. Most asbestos removal can only be undertaken by licensed contractors.
- Removal involves construction work and techniques, so Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 also apply.
- 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.