Asbestos is a hazardous material and must be managed in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Failure to comply with this legislation can carry serious consequences. Some of these consequences include heavy fines, damage to your business’ reputation and even custodial sentences for those responsible.
An example of this is in 2017 a contractor in Manchester was jailed for 6 months when he ignored the results of a survey that identified 230 square metres of asbestos on the site he was hired to demolish. Instead of having a licensed asbestos contractor remove the material, he started the demolition and risked the health of three employees and local residents before a member of the public notified the Health and Safety Executive of the situation which lead to these consequences.
This is highly avoidable and to prevent incidents such as the discussed above and damaging your own business, it’s vital to understand how asbestos legislation relates to you!
Who is responsible, am I?
The removal of asbestos from buildings by anyone other than specialists is not only unlawful, but also poses an extreme health risk.
It is therefore important that awareness is raised to the reality of consequences when contractors fail in their safeguarding duties.
According to current legislation, owners and occupiers of commercial properties have a ‘duty to manage’ asbestos in a safe and measured manner. In the case of some on-site work, it is the contractor rather than the owner who assumes this duty. Therefore, if the contractor has some degree of control over a site, is knowingly carrying out work that disturbs asbestos or is working in a domestic property.
The Health and Safety Executive says that if you have a ‘duty to manage’, you must:
- take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
- presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
- make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos- containing materials – or materials that are presumed to contain asbestos
- assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the 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
- provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them
How can ICE Asbestos help?
We offer a comprehensive suite of services to help duty holders fulfil their responsibilities. As well as providing asbestos surveys, we offer licensed and accredited asbestos management support to ensure any on-site material is properly risk assessed and dealt with.
When it is not safe for asbestos to remain on-site, we also provide cost-effective disposal services to take the stress out of the removal process.
To enquire about any of our services you can contact a member of our team on 0333 772 0424.