DO I NEED AN ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN?
WHAT IS AN ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN?
An asbestos management plan is a crucial document designed to register and detail how asbestos will be managed in a property and what activities will be engaged to ensure people remain safe from asbestos exposure.
WHEN WOULD A PLAN BE REQUIRED?
Firstly, you need to establish whether or not your building has ACMs (asbestos containing materials) present. This will require an asbestos survey, which you can find out more about by clicking here.
If your survey has confirmed the presence of ACMs within your pre-2000 built property, you’ll need to complete an asbestos management plan to comply with the ‘control of asbestos regulations 2012’, as set out by the HSE.
Completing an asbestos management plan isn’t just a one-time event; it’s something you’ll need to manage, monitor and maintain whilst ACMs remain present within your building.
WHAT GOES INTO ONE AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
An asbestos management plan is designed to be a simple, centrally located, document that clearly and concisely details the following:
- The person or persons responsible for managing asbestos
- An asbestos register including all relevant details from your asbestos survey such as the amount and location of asbestos
- Details of ongoing and scheduled works that could disturb ACMs
- A schedule of activities to monitor the condition of any ACMs
- Instructions for people who might disturb the asbestos and the background to the decisions outlined within the plan.
An asbestos management plan can be paper-based; however more and more businesses are finding it easier and better to record their plans electronically, with computerised records.
The duty holder is responsible for the upkeep and delivery of an asbestos management plan. This designated person is usually the property owner or the building manager.
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT IN BUSINESS/COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
To comply with the ‘control of asbestos regulations 2012’, if your commercial premises was built pre-2000, you must check for asbestos containing materials.
If ACMs are found, an asbestos management plan needs to be documented and acted upon. This goes for all ‘non-domestic’ buildings including factories, offices, warehouses, shops, hospitals and many more.
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS
Just like business and commercial properties, schools built before the year 2000 could well have ACMs present. The same principles apply and an asbestos management plan for schools should be documented and implemented in the same way as a commercial building.
With schools, there is an added layer of complexity when it comes to responsibility. It’s important that this is fully understood when allocating maintenance budgets. For example, the duty holder for a local authority school will likely be the local authority itself. A privately run school however, will likely have the duty holder as the proprietor or a group of trustees.
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT IN DOMESTIC PROPERTIES
In most cases, there isn’t a requirement to have a duty holder or asbestos management plan for domestic properties. That said, there is overlap with some areas that you might class as domestic, that do actually require a duty to manage asbestos.
For example, if you own a block of flats, any common areas for access, circulation or storage, would be treated in the same way as non-domestic properties. This is just one example. If you’re unsure of your responsibilities, it would be wise to check out the HSE guidelines for domestic and non-domestic spaces
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The duty holder is the person ultimately responsible for ensuring the asbestos management plan is kept up-to-date. This will normally be the property owner or someone who has explicit responsibility via their employment contract or a tenancy agreement.
To comply with the ‘control of asbestos regulations’ the duty holder needs to do the following:
- Find out where the ACMs are located, how much asbestos there is and what the condition is like – this is where asbestos surveys and re-inspections are required
- Assess any risk and how the asbestos might affect the building and its occupants
- Document a management plan and implement it
- Provide this plan to anyone who may come into contact with the ACMs (such as building contractors, for example)
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT POLICY REGULATIONS AND LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
The duty to manage asbestos is set out in regulation 4 of the ‘control of asbestos regulations 2012’, which you can review by clicking here. It’s a key part of your requirements for HSE compliance and, of course, there could be legal repercussions if anything goes wrong due to negligence.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN BE REVIEWED?
You should keep your asbestos management plan up-to-date and under review. It’s an ongoing process. You need to make sure you update the asbestos register whenever you re-inspect and/or carry out work on ACMs. Whenever the register is changed it must be dated too, for full compliance.
We’d strongly advise that you re-inspect any ACMs in your property at least once a year to ensure their condition hasn’t changed or deteriorated. If they have, your plan will need to be amended accordingly. It’s also important to consider who will make the checks and whether they’re sufficiently competent to carry them out.
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