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What is the Duty to Manage Asbestos?

If there is ACM (Asbestos Containing Material) on site of a non-domestic premises then the duty to manage asbestos applies.

This duty applies to the person(s) responsible for the management and upkeep of the premises and aims to make sure that ACM is correctly identified that risk assessments are made, and that other people on the premises are sufficiently protected. Below, we take a look at the duty to manage asbestos, what it entails, and who it applies to.

Duty to Manage Asbestos Explained 

The duty to manage asbestos is essentially a list of actions that the person responsible for the premises must take to make sure asbestos is safely identified and that the risk of exposure is minimised. Complete details are found in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012[1], but the duty holder must do the following:

  1. Take steps (within reason) to identify potential materials containing asbestos on non-domestic premises including the amount, location, and condition.
  2. Take an approach of presumption that there is asbestos on the premises unless evidence shows otherwise.
  3. Create and maintain records of the asbestos including its location and condition.
  4. Create a risk assessment to show the potential dangers of exposure to asbestos fibres.
  5. Create a risk management plan to show how exposure to asbestos will be minimised and how the materials will be managed.
  6. Act on this plan and make sure people on the premises are sufficiently protected.
  7. Review and update the plan on a regular basis so that it is always relevant if the condition of the ACM change.
  8. Provide the asbestos log to any contractor who is working on your premises and has a risk of being exposed to the fibres.

 

While the person responsible has the duty to manage asbestos, anyone else on the premises such as tenants or employees has a responsibility to cooperate and assist the duty holder where necessary so that they can comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. 

To comply with the duty to manage asbestos, there are four essential steps from the eight listed above. The duty holder must locate any asbestos, create a risk assessment, make a risk management plan, and inform anyone else on the property who is likely to disturb the asbestos. The other steps are optional, but advised by the HSE.

Understanding Who Has the Duty to Manage Asbestos on a Property 

Unfortunately, who has the duty to manage asbestos isn’t always as straightforward as being the owner. The duty holder depends on who has responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the premises. Below, we have created a simple table that defines who is the duty holder in different situations:

 

Who has Responsibility?

Who is the Duty Holder?

An owner who is solely responsible for the upkeep of the premises.

The owner.

A tenant who has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the premises.

The tenant.

A tenant who has no responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the premises.

The owner.

A tenant who has shared responsibility with the owner or other sub-lessors.

Each involved party.

An owner who uses a managing agent.

The owner.

A premises with no tenancy agreement or contract.

The controller of the premises.

Unoccupied premises.

The controller of the premises.

 

This applies to all non-domestic premises including but no limited to schools, factories, hospitals, offices, and dental practices. 

Domestic Premises Where the Duty to Manage Applies

Although most domestic premises do not require the duty to manage asbestos, there are certain situations when this is required – mainly when the premises has a common area that multiple people can access including: 

  • House converted into flats occupied by more than one family where there is common access areas such as staircases or an entrance hall.
  • Garages and parking spaces not allocated to a specific person that have common access areas.
  • Flats over a non-domestic premises such as a shop that are leased separately and have common access area.
  • Sheltered accommodation where there are common access areas such as lifts, stairs, or a foyer.
  • Hotels, pubs, hotels, houses of residence and care homes that have common areas.
  • Farms that have external farm buildings.

 

FAQs 

Who has the duty to manage asbestos?

This depends on the type of property and who is responsible for the premises. For example, if you have a tenancy and the landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs, then the landlord has the duty to manage.

What is the duty to manage asbestos?

This relates to the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and states that the responsible party must comply with steps to identify asbestos, keep records of its location, and create a risk assessment that shows the potential dangers of exposure. 

Is my landlord responsible for asbestos?

If your landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the property as per your tenancy agreement then yes, they have the duty to manage asbestos. However, if you, the tenant, has responsibility for maintenance and repairs, you have the duty to manage asbestos.

 

References

[1] – GOV UK – The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012