Managing Asbestos in Buildings
The HSE have published a revised guide (INDG223(rev5)), in light of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It is for anyone who is responsible for maintenance and repairs in a building, which may contain asbestos. The ‘duty to manage’ asbestos is included in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. You are a ‘duty-holder’ if:
- you own the building
- you are responsible through a contract or tenancy agreement
- you have control of the building but no formal contract or agreement
- in a multi-occupancy building, you are the owner and have taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building.
The types of buildings affected are:
- all non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business
- the common areas of domestic buildings, eg halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces
- all other domestic properties are not affected by the duty to manage.
If you are not the duty-holder but have information about the building, you must co-operate with the duty-holder. For example, leaseholders must allow managing agent’s access for inspection.
The duty to manage asbestos requires you to manage the risk from asbestos by:
- finding out if there is asbestos in the premises (or assessing if Asbestos-containing materials (ACM’s) are liable to be present and making a presumption that materials contain asbestos (unless you have strong evidence that they do not)
- it’s location and what condition it is in
- making and keeping an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the ACMs or presumed ACMs in your premises
- assessing the risk from the material
- preparing a plan that sets out in detail how you are going to manage the risk from this material
- taking the steps needed to put your plan into action
- reviewing and monitoring your plan and the arrangements made to put it in place
- setting up a system for providing information on the location and condition of the material to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb it.
The guide sets out the following steps that should be followed in order to comply with the duty:
- find out if asbestos is present
- assess the condition of any ACMs
- survey and sample for asbestos
- keep a written record or register
- act on your findings
- keep your records up-to-date.
Source: HSE May 2012