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People responsible for buildings and employees have legal duties to protect occupants from asbestos risk, and responsibly manage any risk that is known to exist.

The Duty Holder is defined as the owner of the non-domestic premises or the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of the non-domestic premises.

The responsibility includes protection of tenants, employees, employees of others, and members of the public. Risks to others may arise for example during any building work.

Control of Asbestos Regulations, 2012 (CAR2012)

This is the main legislation that applies to asbestos in the UK. It covers all industrial and commercial premises, factories, warehouses, offices and shops. The duty also covers public buildings such as hospitals, schools, museums, libraries, leisure centres, churches and other religious buildings. In addition, premises include road and rail vehicles, vessels, aircraft and offshore installations, as well as structures and installations (such as bridges), street furniture (such as street lighting) etc.

Regulation 4 – Duty to Manage Asbestos in none domestic premises

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 – Regulation 4 puts the responsibility of ‘duty holders’ (Employers, Building Owners, Landlords and Agents) to manage the risk from Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) within their premises.  It also explains what is required of people who have a duty to co-operate with the duty holder to enable them to comply with the regulation.

The duty holder’s responsibilities include:

  • Identifying asbestos containing materials (ACMs) present.
  • Assess the risk posed by ACMs.
  • Prepare a detailed written plan on how to manage the risk of known asbestos materials.
  • Implement the plan.
  • Review and monitor to ensure compliance.
  • Inform those who need to know of the location and condition of ACMs.

The information of all known ACMs must be shared with contractors and other workers who may carryout work on the fabric of the building that could disturb the Asbestos Containing Material. Through the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 it is law that all employers have a legal duty to prevent their employee’s exposure to asbestos.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, these duties were expanded, requiring employers to assess the risks to health and safety of their employees this includes risks from exposure to asbestos.

Legal requirement for an Asbestos Management Plan

Regulation 4.8 sets out the need for an Asbestos Management Plan wherever known asbestos has been found.

Where the assessment shows that asbestos is or is liable to be present in any part of the premises the duty-holder must ensure that;

  • A determination of the risk from that asbestos is made
  • A written plan identifying those parts of the premises concerned is prepared.
  • The measures which are to be taken for managing the risk are specified in the written plan. The duty-holder should ensure that the Asbestos Management Plan is implemented to manage the risks. The action plan should prioritise the actions identified and give high priority to damaged material and materials likely to be disturbed; these will need to be repaired, sealed, enclosed protectively or removed using trained and competent personnel authorised to work on asbestos items.

As a minimum, the Asbestos Management Plan, including records and drawings, should be reviewed every 12 months, or whenever changes such as building use, or refurbishments take place.

For those working with asbestos

The Regulations place legal duties on employers responsible for license-able and non-license-able work with asbestos.

Guidance

For further and more detailed information please refer to L143 Managing and Working With Asbestos, published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l143.htm

 

The HSE also publishes Asbestos essentials

A task manual for building, maintenance and allied trades of non-licensed asbestos work

https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg210.htm