What to do if you have Asbestos in a Commercial Property

Have you ever thought who may be responsible for maintaining all or part of your business premises in relation to asbestos?

It is illegal to use any form of asbestos in the construction or refurbishment of any buildings. Much of what was previously used however is still in place. The current key legislation includes the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) which came into effect on 6 April 2012, reducing and replacing with minor modifications. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006) and the responsibility will most likely be yours or the landlord depending on the terms of the Lease.

Regulation 4 of the CAR 2012 imposes a duty to manage asbestos risk in “non domestic premises”. Regulation 4 imposes an obligation on the “duty holder” (who may or may not be an employer to:

  • Determine whether asbestos or materials that contain asbestos are present in the premises; and
  • Manage any asbestos that is or is likely to be present.

Management of any asbestos present in premises for which the dutyholder is responsible includes:

  • The preparation of an up to date record to confirm which areas of the property are affected;
  • A plan must also be made stating the condition of the asbestos, confirmation of whether any materials contain asbestos and confirmation of what can be done to manage the risk; and;
  • The plan must be provided to everyone liable who may work on or disturb any of the asbestos.

Even if you are not legally responsible for the management of asbestos in your premises you do have a duty to co-operate with any person who is.

Failure to comply with the requirements of CAR 2012 constitutes a criminal offence and penalties can include hefty fines and/or imprisonment in addition to criminal proceedings brought by the enforcing authority, those affected (employees or others) can also take civil action against the dutyholder. Therefore it is important to get it right!

For more information please contact the Commercial Property team on 0800 689 0831 or send any questions to us via our online Contact Form.

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