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Who Is Responsible For Asbestos Safety

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
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  • Asbestos, Manage, Responsible, Duty
  • Posted date:
  • 13-08-2021
Who Is Responsible For Asbestos Safety

We look at who is responsible for asbestos safety in the UK. We look at what is a duty to manage and the main legislation regarding asbestos?

What is a duty to manage Asbestos?

The legal duty to manage asbestos is stated in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This regulation requires the duty holder to do a few things. This includes: 

Take steps that are considered reasonable to find out if any materials contain asbestos within the property. If there is asbestos material, you should find out the amount, location, and condition the asbestos material is in if it is safe.

You should presume the material found contains asbestos to some degree unless you find strong evidence that contradicts this. This is to ensure the safety of those in the building.

Create records of the asbestos and keep them up to date on the asbestos location and condition of the asbestos-containing material. This should also include materials that you think have asbestos in them but are unsure of.

Creating a risk assessment of the property is also an essential step in this situation. You should assess any risk of someone being exposed to the asbestos fibres from the materials stated on the records.

Create a management plan. This management plan should contain how the duty holder will manage the risks from assessing these materials in great detail.

Once the plan has been created, the next step should be putting this plan into action and ensuring it is followed correctly to keep yourself and others safe.

To ensure the plan is working as intended, having constant reviews done on the plan and making any necessary new arrangements is essential to keep the plan up-to-date and keep people safe.

To keep others safe if workers are to be used in the property for any reason, you should provide detailed locations and conditions of the material to anyone liable to work there or come into contact with this material.

This ensures they are careful while carrying out their job and have the proper protection in case the asbestos materials are disturbed and the fibres are set off.

Another requirement is for others to co-operate as much as possible to allow the duty holder to comply with all conditions stated above. 

Who Is Responsible For Asbestos Safety

What is the main legislation for managing and working with asbestos?

Some people are wondering what the primary legislation for operating and managing asbestos is. This main legislation is the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 was put into force on 6th April 2012. 

This regulation was put into action after the previous asbestos regulations were not meeting the European Commission's views. The EU believed the UK had not fully added the EU Directive on asbestos exposure, so the regulations were updated to meet their needs. 

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What is the main legislation for managing and working with asbestos?
What is duty to manage asbestos Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

Although the EU pushed for the change, once the regulation is in practice, the change it has made is fairly limited from before. Some of the changes include that some types of non-licensed work that included asbestos would now have additional requirements before work started.

Some of these new requirements include notifying the HSE of the work about to be done, record keeping and medical surveillance of those working on the project. All other requirements in the old regulations are the same. 

Who has the duty to manage asbestos?

Are you looking to find out who the duty holder is? The duty holder is defined as the owner of a non-domestic premise, person or organisation that has the clear responsibility of repairing or maintaining a non-domestic premise. To help with this, as an example, there is an agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract. 

With this, the extent of who is the duty holder will depend on the nature of your agreement. In the circumstance of the building being occupied by the leaseholder, the agreement might state either the leaseholder or owner take on the full duty for the building. The agreement might also be that they share the duty between the two of them. 

In a scenario where multiple leaseholders occupy the building, the duty for this building may fall solely under the ownership of the building. Another option is that the duty is shared between the tenants of the building and its owner. 

For example, the owner may take responsibility for the common areas on the building, but the tenants will take responsibility for the areas they are living in. 

In some cases, there might be an agreement to pass these duties to a managing agent instead.

Who has the duty to manage asbestos? Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

In other cases, there are no tenancy agreements/contracts or where it does not specify who will take the duty holder responsibility. In these cases, or when there are no occupants, the duty holder in this situation will be whoever has control over the premises or part of the premises. This is generally passed down to the owner of the property. 

In the case of public buildings such as schools, hospitals and other premises, the identity of the duty holder will generally depend on where and how the responsibility for maintenance or repairs are allocated. For instance, in some schools, the duty holder will be the employer. Although the employer will depend on the type of school you are looking at. For community schools or voluntary schools, the local authority is the employer and will care for the problems. 

For foundation and voluntary aided schools, the school governors will generally be the duty holders. 

The duty holder will be passed to the governors, trustees, or proprietors for independent and paying schools. 

In some cases, the budget for maintenance or repairs is passed down from the local authority to the school as needed. In such cases, the duty to manage any asbestos found on the property will be shared between the school's leadership and the local authority for the best outcome possible.

Duty holder steps to comply with asbestos law

There are many steps that a duty holder must take when having asbestos-containing materials for health and safety reasons. This duty falls under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. 

The CAR established a new control limit. This control limit was used to limit exposure to asbestos to 0.1 fibres per cubic centimetre of air. This is measured over four hours for all types of asbestos, to be certain. 

This limit is a single lower limit that applies to all types of asbestos rather than the higher limits used for chrysotile and other types of asbestos. 

These regulations also created a lower peak for short-term exposure limits and are measured over 10 minutes.

The CAR also covers the duty to manage asbestos within non-domestic premises. The person who holds this title is generally referred to as the duty holder. 

Under Regulation 4 of CAR, all duty holders must take specific steps to comply with the law. This includes:

Ensuring suitable and detailed risk assessment is carried out for the presence of asbestos within the premises.

Check the condition of the asbestos-containing material.

Make records of the building plans and other information that might be relevant such as the age of the building.

Have inspections to check for asbestos.


Where the assessment shows asbestos might be present and assess the risk, it presents to others.

Make a written plan showing where the asbestos might be and keep it under constant review.

Identify any steps that should be taken to manage the risks posed by asbestos.

Monitor the condition of materials containing asbestos or materials that are suspected of containing asbestos.

Ensure the asbestos is maintained properly or removed safely is necessary. 

Ensure relevant information about the location and condition of the asbestos is available to anyone who might be at risk of disturbing or coming into contact with asbestos-containing material. 

 Are you looking for asbestos training  in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire? For any extra information regarding asbestos training, you can follow the links below to find out more: