Why is asbestos in buildings dangerous?

“Asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.” – HSE

Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is more than the number of people killed on the road. Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure to asbestos.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself and your employees now.

asbestos factsReference: www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/index.htm

You have a ‘Duty to Manage’ asbestos in your buildings

Your Duty to Manage asbestos is a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (Regulation 4). It applies to the owners and occupiers of commercial buildings (such as shops, offices, industrial units etc) who have responsibility for maintenance and repair activities. In addition to these responsibilities, they also have a duty to assess the presence and condition of any asbestos-containing materials. If asbestos is present, or is presumed to be present, then it must be managed appropriately. The duty also applies to the shared parts of some domestic premises.

An asbestos survey is the most effective way to help you manage asbestos in your buildings by providing accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). The person responsible for maintenance of buildings must arrange a survey if it is suspected there could be ACMs in your buildings. Furthermore, ACMs must be re-inspected at least annually.

What are the consequences of not managing asbestos?

The ‘Duty to Manage’ asbestos is a legal requirement which is governed and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Failure to properly manage asbestos in your premises and taking the necessary measures to protect employees from exposure to asbestos, can result in prosecution leading to unlimited fines and HSE fee for intervention penalties.

Arrange your asbestos survey inspection now....

Example prosecution

Take a look at this example prosecution where a company was fined £800,000 for poor condition of asbestos containing materials in their factory. 

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