It’s fair to say that there are plenty of myths associated with asbestos management. Just one of these is about regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. There is still a commonly held belief that an asbestos survey is required under these regulations. Yet the regulations actually specify that whoever is responsible for maintaining all or part of business premises has the duty to manage asbestos in premises. Yes, this could be achieved through a survey, but the survey should be a part of the wider approach to comply with the regulation.
So what are you actually obliged to do under regulation 4? In a nutshell, you must:
1. Understand the potential asbestos on your property - This means you need to understand the presence and potential presence of asbestos on your property. It involves taking steps to identify the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos. This could involve using the services of an asbestos management consultant.
2. Make sure that asbestos is managed effectively - This means keeping an accurate record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or presumed ACMs in the premises. It would include assessing the risk of the likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials and a plan for managing the ACMs.
3. Let the appropriate people know - That means providing adequate training and information on the location and state of the ACMs for people who may work near them or disturb them.
4. Review your plan on a regular basis - You should also review and monitor your asbestos management plan periodically.
That’s it. The fact that most people still think that you have to complete a survey for regulation 4 is, in our view, one of the most long-standing myths about dealing with asbestos. But the key here is to have a good management plan in place. This will outline exactly what you need to do and how you’re doing as a duty holder. Part of the management plan may lead to an asbestos survey – if it is found to be appropriate. So an asbestos survey may be required but it’s not a definite. It may sound surprising, but managing asbestos is relatively straightforward once you have the right plan in place!
Got a question about managing asbestos on your property? Please get in touch.