Asbestos Management in Buildings

Asbestos Management, A brief guide

Who is Responsible?

Asbestos Management is a legal requirement and falls under The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

Regulation 4: Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises covers the management of asbestos.

If you are responsible for the maintenance and repairs of a building, which may contain asbestos.

Then you have a duty to manage the asbestos within your property.

The Duty to Manage Asbestos Regulation 4 is part of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The HSE have produced a brief guide to managing asbestos in buildings

Asbestos Duty Holder

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; or

■ in a multi-occupancy building, you are the owner or have taken responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building.

The following types of Buildings are affected .

■ All non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business.

■ The common areas of domestic buildings, e.g. halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces.

■ All other domestic properties are not affected by the duty to manage.

I'm not the Duty Holder!

Suppose you are not the duty holder but have information about the building.

In that case, you must co-operate with the duty holder, e.g. leaseholders must allow managing agents access for inspection.

Why does asbestos need to be managed?

Asbestos is only a risk to health if asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in.

Breathing in airborne asbestos fibres can cause asbestos-related diseases.

The management regulations aim to make sure the fibres do not become airborne.

Which building need to be managed?

Any buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000 may contain asbestos.

As long as the asbestos-containing material (ACM) is in good condition and is not being or going to be disturbed or damaged, there is negligible risk.

But if it is disturbed or damaged, it can become a danger to health because people may breathe in any asbestos fibres released into the air.

Who is at risk?

The more asbestos fibres breathed in, the greater the health risk.

Anyone working in a building, where the asbestos is not being managed properly.

Workers who may be exposed to asbestos when carrying out maintenance and repair jobs are at risk.

Such workers include:

■ construction and demolition contractors, roofers, electricians, painters and decorators, joiners, plumbers, gas fitters, plasterers, shopfitters, heating and ventilation engineers, and surveyors;

■ anyone dealing with electronics, e.g. phone and IT engineers, and alarm installers;

■ general maintenance engineers and others who work on the fabric of a building.

If asbestos is present and can be readily disturbed by others occupying the premises, it could put them at risk.

The HSE has produced a brief guide to managing asbestos in buildings.