What is asbestos due diligence and does it affect you?

Asbestos due diligence

If you’re thinking of acquiring a business that operates from older premises, or already run one, asbestos due diligence is a key issue that protects your employees’ health and could save you money and time in the future.  

Under UK asbestos law the person responsible for maintaining non-domestic buildings can be fined and/or prosecuted for failing in this respect. If you’re the ‘duty holder,’ you may be required to carry out an asbestos due diligence assessment to identify whether asbestos is present in the building, and if so, to manage the risks.

If asbestos is found following an assessment, its whereabouts and condition need to be recorded in an asbestos register to protect your staff, and also workers carrying out alterations or renovations in the future.  

Why asbestos due diligence is so important

The extensive use of asbestos in older buildings in the past, particularly industrial premises, has resulted in widespread asbestos disease among the people who worked there. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the body assigned to protect worker health and safety in the UK, 2,595 people died from mesothelioma in 2016 alone.¹

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer attributed to asbestos exposure, but a similar number of other lung cancer deaths in the same year were also linked to asbestos. So what exactly constitutes asbestos due diligence, and how can you comply with the regulations?

Asbestos due diligence

Seeking guidance and assistance from professional asbestos consultants is the first step in the due diligence process. Whether you’re a prospective buyer or a commercial tenant you’ll get a full picture of your responsibilities from a due diligence assessment, which also reveals whether any further action is necessary.

This type of assessment could include any or all of the following, but should be tailored to the requirements of each case:

  • Desktop study
  • Site visit to evaluate the existing situation via previous audits and any other information available
  • Report detailing all findings, highlighting any ongoing risks, and providing professional recommendations

The benefits of asbestos due diligence

Given the carcinogenic nature of asbestos, and the ease with which fibres can escape when asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are damaged or degraded, asbestos due diligence is a crucial factor if you’re a business owner or landlord.

It allows you to manage any risk to your employees and visitors, particularly tradespeople and maintenance staff on the workforce. From a business purchaser’s perspective, asbestos due diligence provides a full picture of potential future costs and can influence sales at the negotiation stage. Where a property portfolio is concerned, a due diligence assessment across all premises also highlights potential issues and ensures compliance.

Acorn Analytical Services is a trusted and accredited asbestos consultancy offering professional asbestos due diligence services, asbestos repair and encapsulation, and fast and efficient asbestos project management.

Our director-led due diligence procedure ensures compliance with asbestos legal requirements, protecting your staff and visitors, and saving you time and money in the long run. Please contact one of our highly experienced consultants to discuss your needs.

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res 14 e1604324375354

Asbestos Material Risk Assessments and Priority Risk Assessments

There are two types of assessments, material risk assessment and priority risk assessments. Together they will show you the total risk and help you manage it. What is a material risk assessment? The material risk assessment is carried out by an asbestos surveyor on site and looks at the risk of the asbestos product releasing …

Read MoreAsbestos Material Risk Assessments and Priority Risk Assessments

Regulation 5 e1604323415767

Regulation 5 – what you need to know

Regulation 5 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations relates to the identification of the presence of asbestos. Under regulation 5, it puts the responsibility on the employer to identify asbestos before any building or demolition works are carried out. It covers the non-domestic market and the domestic market. When we are doing a project in …

Read MoreRegulation 5 – what you need to know

WP 6556 Original 39589 Medium e1601897882134

Asbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

In this blog, we’ll examine asbestos spray coatings and some of the problems you can face when it is being removed. Asbestos spray coatings were phased out in the mid-1970s, so it’s old now and deteriorating. They have a very high asbestos content. It was mixed with Portland cement binder, to stick asbestos fibres together. …

Read MoreAsbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

Licences blog pic sml

How do you get the right asbestos contractor?

It is so important that you get competent asbestos contractors to carry out asbestos removal works. Asbestos Contractors fall into two categories: non-licensed and licensed. Licensed contractors receive a licence from the HSE to work with licensable asbestos materials. You need a licence if you are going to work on the higher risk materials such …

Read MoreHow do you get the right asbestos contractor?

Acorn School Site 47 e1601897304536

Asbestos Reinspections

In this blog we will look at asbestos reinspections and how they differ from a survey. Usually, reinspections follow on from some sort of survey – you should have an existing asbestos register from a management survey or a refurbishment survey. Your existing asbestos information – outlining where the asbestos is and what condition it …

Read MoreAsbestos Reinspections

work 731198 1920

What you need to know about asbestos databases

Asbestos databases are sometimes called portals and are an electronic place where your asbestos information and Health & Safety information is held and stored on an online system. Lots of things are going into the Cloud and that is why we have moved in that direction. In the past, Asbestos survey reports were on paper …

Read MoreWhat you need to know about asbestos databases

Blog 4 - house Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res-96

Common asbestos materials in domestic properties

When people think about asbestos, they often associate it with larger buildings such as warehouses, schools, hospitals and factories. Often, people do not think about asbestos when it comes to homes, but asbestos was heavily used in parts of the domestic market and used on large scales within local authority homes. In this blog, we …

Read MoreCommon asbestos materials in domestic properties

hot conditions

Working with asbestos in hot conditions

You don’t normally think of the combination of asbestos and heat as a concern. Asbestos is resistant to heat – that is one of the reasons it was used in building projects. However, in this blog, we are not talking about the use of asbestos, we are talking about asbestos removal projects and how heat …

Read MoreWorking with asbestos in hot conditions

listed building

Asbestos and Listed Buildings

Buildings of historic importance, that were constructed centuries ago, were not built with asbestos. Whether you’re talking about castles or smaller old listed properties they were built before we started using asbestos in construction. What we will consider in this blog is what may have happened to those buildings after their original construction. In short, …

Read MoreAsbestos and Listed Buildings

Asbestos disposal

Asbestos disposal – New and exciting methods

In this blog, we are talking about some exciting developments with regards to the disposal of asbestos. We recently went to a conference in Birmingham which was attended by lots of people from our industry. Delegates shared new techniques, best practice and innovations and there were a lot of interesting seminars. One of the seminars, …

Read MoreAsbestos disposal – New and exciting methods