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Who is responsible for asbestos management?
Asbestos management affects everyone and everyone has a responsibility to ensure they and others a safe from asbestos. However, in the UK there is a specific “duty to manage” asbestos for anyone that is responsible for the maintenance and repair in a building. The responsible person is referred to as the “Duty Holder”. This duty to manage asbestos forms the basis of Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 – Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises.
You’ll most likely be deemed to be the duty holder if:
- you own the building;
- you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the building through a contract or tenancy agreement;
- you have control of the building but there’s no formal contract or agreement; or
- in a multi-occupancy building, you are the owner and have taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building.
What buildings are affected by asbestos management and the duty to manage?
The duty to manage asbestos applies to:
- All non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business. (factories, warehouses, offices, shops, pubs, hospitals, airports, farms, hotels, doctors, dentists, schools, colleges etc)
- The common areas of domestic buildings, eg halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces.
Why is asbestos management important?
Asbestos is a problem, a big problem in the UK.
As of 2019 in the UK, it is responsible for over 5,000 deaths per year.
What does asbestos management and the duty to manage asbestos involve?
Under the duty to manage asbestos (asbestos management), the duty holder is required to manage the risk from asbestos. The regulation for asbestos management set out the following requirements:
- find out if there is asbestos in the building (or assessing if ACMs are liable to be present and making a presumption that materials contain asbestos unless you have strong evidence that they do not), its 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; and
- 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.