Duty to manage asbestos in premises

Whoever is responsible for maintaining all or part of business premises must also manage any asbestos in the property. Depending on the terms of your lease, this could be you or your landlord or managing agent. In the event that maintenance responsibilities aren’t clearly specified, the legal duty rests with the party which has the greatest degree of control over the premises.

Responsibilities of Tenants, Landlords and Managing Agents

If you hold this legal duty, you must:

  1. Take reasonable steps to determine the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos. You may need to use the services of an external surveyor, alternately you should presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not.
  2. Keep an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or presumed ACMs in the premises, including an assessment of the risk of the likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials. Make sure that material is analysed for asbestos content in accordance with ISO17025, which sets standards for both quality management and technical requirements in laboratories
  3. Prepare a plan setting out how the risks from the materials are to be managed, and take the necessary steps to put the plan into action. You should also review and monitor the plan periodically.
  4. Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them.

Remember that even if you aren’t legally responsible for managing asbestos risks in your premises, you have a duty to co-operate with the party who is. You must allow the landlord or managing agent access to the premises to conduct inspections. If you have the responsibility, your landlord must disclose relevant information.

Helping you and your clients with asbestos assessments.

Asbestos is a highly dangerous product which is also a silent killer. It is an essential requirement to manage and monitor any asbestos hazards.

If the property has tenants, the party with the greatest control over the premises has legal responsibility which includes:

  1. Ascertaining areas and locations of material which could potentially contain asbestos.
  2. If in doubt, to assume asbestos is present until there is enough evidence to prove otherwise. You may need to consult an external surveyor.
  3. Maintenance of records regarding location and condition of asbestos-containing materials or presumed (ACMs) including a risk assessment of any exposure to the fibres.
  4. Ensure analysis is in accordance with ISO17025.
  5. Have a plan of risk management and how this would be actioned.
  6. Regular review and monitoring.
  7. Forewarn anybody/everybody who may be working in an area where asbestos may be present.

It is always recommended to have a full risk assessment in order to protect all parties against potentially fatal hazards or an asbestos-related illness.

Our efficient processes and expertise, facilitates thorough assessments for contracts and any other appropriate documentation.


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