Duty to manage asbestos

You are required to manage the risk from asbestos by:

  • Finding out if asbestos is present in the premises - make and maintain a record of the location and condition of the asbestos or any materials which are presumed to contain asbestos
  • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials identified
  • Make an 'asbestos management plan' that sets out how the risks from these materials will be managed. Make sure you review and monitor it to check adequate arrangements are in place
  • Provide information on the location and condition of asbestos material to anyone who may come into contact with it.

There is also a requirement on anyone to cooperate as far as is necessary to allow the duty holder to comply with the above requirements.

Who is the duty holder?

Owners and occupiers of non-domestic premises who have maintenance and repair responsibilities for those premises, have a duty to assess the building for asbestos and and implement a management plan.

Other parties have a legal duty to cooperate with the duty holder. For example, there is a requirement on landlords to pass on information to their tenants. Similarly tenants must cooperate with their landlord by allowing access to a building.

Building surveyors or architects, who have plans which show information on the whereabouts of asbestos, are also expected to make this information available to duty holders.

What premises are affected?

The duty to manage covers all non-domestic premises, including all industrial, commercial or public buildings such as factories, warehouses, offices, shops, hospitals and schools.

Non-domestic premises also includes 'common' areas of certain domestic premises. Common areas might include foyers, corridors, lifts and lift-shafts, staircases, roof spaces, gardens, yards, outhouses and garages etc.

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