Asbestos at Work Regulations
The UK HSE identifies Asbestos as being the greatest single cause of work related deaths in the UK. Since the early 1970’s, legislation has been introduced to help manage the hazard of asbestos. The current legislation governing the management of Asbestos is the Control of Asbestos at Work 2012.
The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012 (CAR2012) places a ‘duty to manage’ Asbestos in all non- domestic premises.
The duty to manage Asbestos is described predominantly is Regulation 4 of CAR2012. It places a legal duty on the ‘duty holder’ to take active steps to identify, manage and monitor Asbestos containing materials in their property. In order to identify any Asbestos within the property, a survey will have to be carried out (ideally by a UKAS accredited inspection body). This survey information must be recorded onto an Asbestos register which can be referred to by any visiting contractor to prevent accidental exposure and should be used to form part of the management plan.
The ‘duty holder’ in most cases is the person / organisation that have clear responsibility for the maintenance and repair of any non- domestic premises. The duty holder may be whoever owns/ controls the property; however the duty holder responsibilities may transfer through tenancy / contract.
If the duty holder does not take responsibility for the identification and management of Asbestos, it can result in prosecution, disruption to business, loss of insurance cover, personal fines and potentially a custodial sentence.
Asbestos In the Home
At present, there are no regulations governing the management of Asbestos in private homes, although duty of care does apply to contractors working in your home.
Asbestos was commonly used in the construction of domestic dwellings; therefore, home owners need to take responsibility to manage the Asbestos within their homes.
Asbestos containing materials in the home are a concern when they are disturbed or damaged- releasing fibres into the air. Prolonged exposure to high levels of respirable Asbestos fibres increases the risk of developing asbestos related diseases such as Asbestosis, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma.
In order to reduce the risk of exposure to Asbestos fibres to family, friends, or any one else who enters the home, it is strongly recommended to have an Asbestos survey carried out, and to complete any remedial actions recommended as a result of the survey.
Typical locations for the most common asbestos-containing materials.