If so, you may be legally accountable for asbestos management in the premises and in most cases the first step in implementing a management plan is to commission an asbestos survey.
Understanding who the duty holder is for premises is crucial if you are planning to undertake any work that may disturb Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs).
At Franks Portlock we like to ensure our clients have a full understanding of asbestos management, from the legal requirements of duty holders to what types of premises are affected. Below, you will find a step by step guide to the legality of asbestos surveys, learn who the duty holder is at your premises and how to ensure the responsibilities for asbestos management are met.
The HSE states that under regulation four, responsibility for the asbestos management of a non-domestic premises lies with the owner, person or organisation that has clear accountability for the maintenance or repair of the non-domestic premises, such as through an explicit agreement like a tenancy agreement or contract. For example:
The duty to manage asbestos is contained in regulation four of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It requires the duty holder to:
The duty to manage covers all non-domestic premises, including industrial, commercial, public buildings and ‘common’ areas of purpose-built flats or houses converted into flats. These areas include, but are not limited to foyers, corridors, lifts and stairs. For example:
A house converted into flats, occupied by more than one family would require the duty holder to be responsible for common parts such as access, storage, roof space etc, but not for the private rooms.
Flats over a shop, with or without separate entrances would require the duty holder to take responsibility for the common areas, but not the private rooms if leased separate to the shop owner.
As part of an asbestos management plan a survey should be carried out to locate asbestos in your premises. If you find asbestos, it will need to be safely managed. As the duty holder you are accountable for maintaining the safety of the building and should seek the services of a consultant who will be able to assist with an asbestos management strategy.
Asbestos can often be safely labelled and managed, or made safe by repairing, encapsulating, or over-boarding. Complete removal may be required, but is not always the best option according to the HSE. At Franks Portlock we can advise and help specify a programme of remediation work to be carried out by a licensed asbestos removal operative.
ACMs that remain should be periodically reinspected to check their condition hasn’t deteriorated, or they have become vulnerable to damage.
However, if you discover undocumented materials which you believe might contain asbestos, the HSE advises that activity or work in the area stopped immediately, and a fully UKAS accredited and qualified professional is commissioned to conduct a thorough inspection.