Legislation

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The Legislation & ‘The Duty to Manage’

The Duty to manage Asbestos in non-Domestic Premises became Law in April 2004
and updated in April 2012.
Are you aware of the ‘Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012?
The major part of this is the ‘Duty to Manage Asbestos in Non-Domestic Premises          

Breathing in air containing asbestos dust can cause asbestos related diseases. These are mainly cancer of the chest and lungs. Asbestos related diseases are killing an estimated 3,500 people per year in Great Britain, and this is expected to rise. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive suggest that if no actions are taken, over the next 50 years 9,000 people each year would die of exposure to asbestos. The new regulation is set to dramatically reduce this figure.

The duty to manage will require those who are responsible for any non-domestic premises to put into place steps to:

•    Ascertain if there is any asbestos materials (ACM’s) on the premises (materials must be presumed to contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence to prove otherwise).
•    Determine the type and condition of any such materials, assess the risk of disturbance/exposure of any ACM’s or presumed ACM’s.
•    Collate and keep an up to date record of the location of these ACM’s or presumed ACM’s.
•    Prepare a comprehensive management plan detailing how the risks are to be managed.
•    Take necessary steps to implement the management plan.
•    Periodically review and monitor the management plan.
•    Make this Management Plan readily available to anyone who is liable to work around or disturb the asbestos.

The purpose of this new regulation will enable any future contractors, workers or indeed in-house Maintenance staff to assess the nature of a substance before work commences eliminating the risk of disturbance to an ACM.

        Asbestos Management will affect all non-domestic property owners and employers!
The consequences of failing to comply with the legislation include penalties such as;
•    Increase in insurance premiums or application of exclusion clauses
•    Closure of work area or entire site by H.S.E. inspectors
•    Fines of up to £20,000 for individuals and unlimited fines for companies.
•    Imprisonment of up to two years for individuals responsible
•    Disqualification of directors.
 
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