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If you are a dutyholder, regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 places a legal requirement on you to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment to determine whether asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are likely to be present in any non-domestic premises that you are responsible for. You are also required to manage the risk from any ACMs identified. This also applies to the common parts of any domestic premises you manage such as boiler rooms, lift shafts, foyers, corridors, vertical risers, stairwells, external elements etc.

To comply you must:

Determine if ACMs are present

This involves reviewing all documentary information and carrying out a thorough inspection of the premises. The inspection will normally be in the form of an asbestos management survey.

Assess the condition of any asbestos identified

The condition of the asbestos needs to be assessed in order to determine the likelihood of fibres being released. The asbestos surveyor will usually do this in the form of a material assessment.

Assess the potential risk from ACMs

The assessment should consider how likely it is that the ACMs will be disturbed or damaged.

Create an asbestos register for the premises

The asbestos register is a simple document detailing the location of any ACMs along with details of their extent, condition, and product type. It should also give details of any areas which have not been accessed or inspected and which should be presumed to contain asbestos. The asbestos register must be kept up to date and should be available on site for the entire life of the premises.

Devise an asbestos management plan

A written management plan should be prepared which details how the risks from asbestos are going to be managed and by whom and how the plan will be communicated. A copy of the asbestos register or details as to how to access it are generally included as part of the plan.

In order to develop a management plan, a decision needs to be made as to what action needs to be taken for each ACM. The basic options for management are:

  • Leave the ACM in place and manage
  • Protect/seal the ACM
  • Repair/remove the ACM
Review and update the management plan

The management plan should be thoroughly reviewed every 12 months or where there have been changes in circumstances (e.g. work undertaken, ACMs removed or repaired, changes in occupancy or use of the building). The condition of any known or presumed ACMs should be checked periodically in order to ensure that they have not deteriorated or been damaged.

Communicate and share the management plan

You must ensure that the plan is readily available and also:

  • Inform employees what the arrangements are.
  • Provide information regarding the location of ACMs to the emergency services.
  • Provide employee representatives and trade union representatives with copies of the management plan.