The duty to manage asbestos is directed at those people who manage non-domestic premises: the people with responsibility for protecting others who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks to ill health that exposure to asbestos causes.
What is the Duty?
The duty to manage asbestos is contained in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It requires the person who has the duty (ie the ‘duty holder’) to:
– take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
– presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
– make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos- containing materials – or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos
– assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials identified
– prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
– take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
– periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date
– provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them
There is also a requirement on others to co-operate as far as is necessary to allow the duty holder to comply with the above requirements.
Who has the Duty?
The duty holder is the owner of the non-domestic premises or the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises, for example through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract.