Asbestos Obligations for Commercial Property Owners28th June 2016
The hazardous nature of asbestos means that any detection of this dangerous fibre must be addressed as quickly as possible. However, when it comes to commercial premises, many do not know where the responsibility of managing asbestos lies. Here, we will discuss the asbestos obligation for commercial property owners and what this duty involves.
Who is responsible for asbestos management in commercial properties?
All commercial owners have a legal obligation to manage asbestos at their premises by complying with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. These regulations stipulate that the duty falls upon all employers or management companies to minimise the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres in all places of work.
What does this duty involve?
As part of this legal obligation, commercial property owners must adhere to the following points:
- Locate the asbestos
Hiring the expertise of an external, accredited asbestos surveyor will ensure any asbestos in a commercial building is quickly identified; this is imperative for properties built pre-2000 when asbestos was most commonly used. Not only does this include shops and offices, but derelict or vacant premises and warehouses will need an asbestos survey, too.
- Analyse material and keep a record of results
If asbestos is detected in your commercial building, the material must be thoroughly tested and analysed by an asbestos professional to check its type, location, condition and the possibility of it being disturbed. You must keep a record of the results from this rigorous testing, and ensure the information is made readily available to anyone likely to come into contact with the area, such as builders or plumbers.
- Best course of action
Once the condition of the asbestos has been analysed, you will need to ensure the correct remedial action is carried out by a licensed asbestos expert. If the asbestos is in good condition and is unlikely to be disturbed, it should be left exactly where it is and its condition must be closely monitored. However, if the asbestos is disturbed and the hazardous fibres are airborne, it must be removed immediately.
What are the consequences of ignoring this legal obligation?
Failure to comply with this legal duty can lead to strict penalties, with commercial property owners facing a fine of up to £20,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months. In the case of a serious breach, an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years can be imposed.
Can these responsibilities be delegated to other members of staff?
Whilst regular asbestos management can be assigned to a competent person, such as a manager, the legal obligation lies with the property owner who must make sure any appointed persons can carry out this duty sufficiently.
For more information or advice on asbestos health and safety, take a look at the HSE website.
Asbestos Waste Solutions
Disturbed asbestos in any type of property must be removed and disposed of safely by a licensed asbestos expert. Here at Asbestos Waste Solutions, we offer a comprehensive range of asbestos services for building contractors, asbestos removal companies and the general public, both locally and nationwide. This includes:
- Asbestos disposal
- Asbestos skip hire
- Asbestos van collection
- Asbestos supplies
- Transfer station
- Landfill site
- Asbestos identification
As a registered waste carrier, you can rest assured knowing that all of our work is carried out to the highest standard. To find out more, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.This entry was posted in Commercial Asbestos. Bookmark the permalink.