Asbestos in the workplace
All you need to know about asbestos in the workplace
If you are a commercial or industrial property owner or manager, then the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR2012) imparts on you a legal duty to manage asbestos levels and ACM’s (Asbestos Containing Materials) at those premises.
While the everyday management of asbestos can be carried out in-house or outsourced to a management company, the legal duty cannot be delegated. The property owner remains responsible for ensuring that any appointed persons are competent to fulfil the responsibilities they face in meeting this duty.
We have seen that commercial property owners are particularly at risk of being taken advantage of by asbestos surveyors and management companies offering poor advice. It is worth checking that the recommendations you have been given are necessary before committing to any expense. Our policy at Total Group is to provide clear advice to help the client save money, not to offer remedial actions to make us money.
If you are responsible for maintenance on the building, you are classified as the Duty Holder, and it is your responsibility to create an asbestos management plan for the building
The first step of this is a Management Survey. Please note that you simply cannot say ‘We don’t have any asbestos in here, so I don’t need one.’ We have seen numerous prosecutions over the years from building owners using this theory and inevitably they are wrong.
We recommend that you engage professionals such as us to conduct an asbestos survey and have us provide you with a full report and recommendations.
FAQ for Commercial Buildings
Having an asbestos survey carried out and then maintaining asbestos records is a legal requirement under Health & Safety legislation. This is to protect maintenance workers and building occupiers from exposure to asbestos.
As part of the government’s urban regeneration scheme, under the Finance Act 2001, it is possible to claim 150% of the cost of asbestos remediation against your company’s profits as tax relief.
For example: if asbestos removal costs £10,000 a company can deduct £15,000 from their taxable income. This also means that if the company made a loss, then they could be eligible for a cash rebate. This concession only applies to UK-registered companies and does not apply if the building or land was owned by the company when the asbestos was originally imported. Ask your company’s accountant or financial advisor for more information on how this might apply to you.
It is possible to have an asbestos survey carried out in-house, but the surveyor must be deemed officially competent to carry out the work required. This means he/she must:
- Have sufficient training, qualifications, knowledge, and experience
- Have sufficient knowledge of the tasks to be undertaken and the work therein
- Demonstrate impartiality, integrity, and independence
- Have a compliant Quality Management System
- Carry out the survey in according with HSG264
In practice, very few property owners or companies can meet these requirements from within their own staff. That is why it is best to engage specialists like Meyer Environmental Ltd. to conduct your asbestos survey
As a commercial property owner, you have a legal duty to manage asbestos at your premises under the Control of Asbestos (CAR2012) regulations. Whilst the day-to-day management of asbestos can be delegated to a manager or management company, the legal duty cannot be delegated. The property owner is still ultimately responsible for ensuring that any appointed persons are competent to fulfil the responsibilities laid out under this duty.
You may be surprised to hear that we actually see asbestos removal as a last resort. Asbestos is only dangerous if it is disturbed and therefore no remedial actions may be needed if the ACMs in your building are stable and likely to remain that way. Other remedial actions, apart from removal, may also provide a solution if necessary. These include encapsulation, isolation, or repairs.
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