Asbestos Management Compliance and new The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 - What it means to you and how to comply
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
The Asbestos Regulations questions and answers
Q. Am I breaking the law by not having an asbestos survey?. A. If you are the 'duty holder' (site manager or maintenance manager, company director, landlord, tenant, lease holder, safety officer etc) responsible for any non domestic buildings, then yes, please don't assume you aren't!
Q. How do I find out if I need an asbestos survey?. A. You will need an asbestos survey if any of the following apply: The buildings are older than 1999, the building is 'a place of work', the building is used by members of the public, the building due for major refurbishment or demolition.
Q. What do I do once I've got the survey. A. You will need to manage any asbestos found, by making sure it's in a safe condition and prevent it being disturbed by normal use of the building or planned maintenance or refurbishment work. Our asbestos survey reports include this information and a helpline for future assistance.
The 2012 Control of Asbestos Regulations and how they affect you
"But my mate said it wasn't asbestos?"
It is important that you realise the severity of the penalties, for allowing asbestos to be disturbed, where people are exposed to the invisible fibres, which may lead to cancer and other health effects.
Failure to comply with the Control of Asbestos 2006 regulations, which results in the uncontrolled release and/or spread of asbestos fibres can attract penalties upon conviction of up to 2 years prison and/or UNLIMITED fines!.
The main regulation breaches that usually result in prosecution are:
Failure to control the release of asbestos fibres (accidental damaged of asbestos materials)
Failure to control the spread of asbestos fibres (contamination of the area after damage to asbestos materials including airborne fibres)
Failure to inform those working with or around asbestos of the dangers from the material resulting in the disturbance of asbestos (no asbestos survey available to prevent disturbance or no asbestos awareness training)
Failure to carry out an asbestos survey resulting in disturbance of asbestos (no asbestos survey or survey not carried out by competent persons)
If any of the above breaches results in people being exposed to asbestos, the penalties will be more severe!
A Kent Surveys asbestos survey report will significantly reduce the risk of these breaches
The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations / The Asbestos Licensing Regulations and the Asbestos Prohibition Regulations have been reformed into:
The Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012
View the full text here
Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. Visit http://mesothelioma.net/ for information on this deadly disease.
Both the HSE and the EPA have strict regulations governing this material
In Plain English
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 will affect you if you are responsible for a place of work or non-domestic premises, this includes, but is not limited to, building managers, landlords, business owners, maintenance managers, building control officers, business directors, duty holders of premises, senior management, commercial property owners and tenants, industrial property owners and tenants. Basically any building or premises that's not a domestic house will have a person (duty holder) who is responsible for the safety of the building, occupants and visitors in terms of general safety and specifically in this case, asbestos exposure.
Sometimes the 'duty holder' is a clearly defined position within an organisation other times its just another part of someone's job description. With the revised regulations they have introduced an 'implicit duty' for these people to know where the asbestos is in the buildings they are responsible for and to manage the risks, ('Duty to Manage') from these materials in the form of an asbestos management plan.
The small business owner will probably only need a decent asbestos survey, complete with recommendations to comply with the majority of the requirements in the regulations. The duty holder is usually the owner or manager and he is not really expected to be trained to any significant level, just enough to comply with the regulations in terms of preventing the release and spread of asbestos fibres. The basically means, find out where it is, keep it in good (sealed) condition, don't let anyone disturb it, and keep an eye on it.
Asbestos Regulations Summarised :
"In addition to your existing legal duty to prevent, whenever possible, the exposure of employees and others in your premises to asbestos, a new 'duty to manage' asbestos will be added to the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006.
This will require you to manage the risk from asbestos by:
- Finding out if there is asbestos in the premises, its amount and what condition it is in etc etc.
- Presuming materials contain asbestos, unless you have strong evidence that they do not.
- Making and keeping up to date records of the location and condition of ACMs in your premises.
- Assessing the risk from the material, (this should be included in the survey).
- Preparing a plan that sets out in detail how you are going to manage the risk from this material.
- Taking the steps needed to put your plan into action, (follow the recommendations in the survey).
- Reviewing and monitoring your plan and arrangements made to put it in place.
- Providing information on the location and condition of ACMs to anyone likely to work on or disturb it."
Source: Managing Asbestos in Premises, published by Health & Safety Executive Sept 2001. Click the link to see the rest of the HSE page.
Asbestos Legal Risks
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006
Here are the three implicit duties* for asbestos management as required in the revised regulations.
1. *Duty to FIND: Get an asbestos survey, ideally carried out by experienced persons.
The survey report will let you know where the asbestos materials are located , the amount, what condition it's in, who is at risk, level of risk from the material and much more.
2. *Duty to MANAGE: Make sure the materials are sealed, made safe and kept safe (many are already safe by their nature).
The survey report will make recommendations for the treatment, sealing and/or protection of the materials so that they can be left in place and managed.
3. *Duty to INFORM: Keep an eye on them and prevent them being disturbed by limiting access and informing tradesmen staff etc where they are located, assisted by the survey report.
The survey report will allow duty holders to carry out inspections based on the results, the report will also act as a reference for tradesmen/staff etc carrying out work in the building to prevent them accidentally disturbing asbestos materials by assessing the risk prior to starting the work.
It's all about preventing accidental exposure, by taking the above steps
An asbestos survey from Kent Surveys will help you comply with all three of the above requirements
A good asbestos survey will help you to comply with these requirements without affecting your business in any significant way