Asbestos Risk Management
Asbestos is a fibrous material which can cause serious disease. If your premises contain buildings constructed in the 20th century, asbestos may be present. Follow our risk management guide to limit the potential harm that might result due to exposure.
According to the Control of Asbestos Regulations, anyone responsible for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises has a statutory duty to manage the risk from asbestos that might be present in those premises. You must comply if you:
- Own a building
- Are responsible for the building through a contract or agreement
- Have control of the building but have no formal contract or agreement in place
- Are the owner and have taken responsibility in a multi-occupancy building for maintenance and repairs for the whole building
To meet your duty, you must:
- Discover if asbestos is present and assess the risk of anyone being exposed. Make and keep suitable records of this
- Create a plan setting out how you will manage the risks of exposure, put the plan into action and review it periodically
- Provide information on the location and condition of affected materials to anyone liable to work on them or disturb them
When you are conducting work around Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) you need to comply with a more extensive list of requirements. See www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/index.htm. You may also have responsibilities where construction work is conducted on your premises, as a ‘client’ under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.
- Loose asbestos used as loft insulation
- Sprayed asbestos for fire protection in ducts and to structural steel work, fire breaks in ceiling voids etc.
- Lagging as thermal insulation for pipes and boilers
- Asbestos insulating boards (AIBs) user for fire protection, as thermal insulation or as wall partitions and in ducts, soffits, ceiling, and wall panels
- Asbestos cement products (including flat or corrugated sheets) used as roofing and wall cladding, gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks etc.
- Certain textured coatings such as decorative plasters and paints
- Bitumen or vinyl materials used as roofing felt, floor and ceiling tiles etc.
Example precautions you can take
- Removing ACMs
- Repairing or encapsulating damaged ACMs
- Monitoring the condition of ACMs periodically
- Providing adequate information to any relevant parties
- Labelling ACMs where practical
Risk management overview
1. Identify what ACMs are present at your premises, their location, and their condition. Record all this information
2. Assess the risk from any ACMs that are present and record this
3. Prepare a written plan which illustrates how you will manage the risks from ACMs the implement the plan
4. Make sure all employees and volunteers are aware of the actions you are taking and what they should do if they disturb or come across asbestos
5. Keep records of everything you have done and update them periodically
6. Provide relevant information to all parties if you are considering construction work
7. Document all your arrangements and responsibilities for managing asbestos and review these periodically