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Asbestos

This page provides a brief oversight into the requirements placed upon all who manage non-domestic premises: the people with responsibility for protecting others who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks to ill health that exposure to asbestos causes.

Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK. Now, much of this is likely to be due to past exposure, although the presence of asbestos in a range of buildings and applications means that the risk continues today.

Southern Hampshire, particularly the area around Southampton and Portsmouth has a particularly high incidence of deaths due to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Hidden Killer

The The following resources on the Health and Safety Executive website provide detail on what asbestos is, and the problems associated with it.

The Duty to Manage Asbestos

The duty to manage asbestos is contained in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The regulation covers all non-domestic premises, regardless of what type of business is carried out in them. It also covers the common areas of domestic premises (e.g. halls, stair wells, lift shafts, roof spaces).

The duty to manage requires those in control of premises to:

  • Take reasonable steps to determine the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos;
  • Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not;
  • Make, and keep an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) - or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos;
  • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials identified;
  • Prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed;
  • Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action;
  • Periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date; and
  • Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them.

The HSE Duty to manage Asbestos webpage provides comprehensive information on this area.

Updated: 19 Dec 2014
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