We all know the dangers of asbestos and the importance of carrying out asbestos removal safely. We came across this article on crucial-enviro.co.uk discussing the legal issues of removing asbestos yourself which we thought would be of interest to some of you…
Asbestos is a dangerous substance that is banned from use in the UK. Unsurprisingly, there are a number of legal obligations and complexities for owners of buildings who discover that asbestos is present somewhere on the premises.
Asbestos could potentially be found on any property in the UK that was built before 2000. While asbestos was made illegal to use in the UK in 1999, there are still a huge number of buildings with asbestos already in-situ. So, if you have found a material that you believe may be or contain asbestos it is important to have an asbestos survey carried out to understand whether it is present or not.
The responsibilities of building owners
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, those who own or are responsible for non-residential buildings have a legal obligation to ensure that the people who use the building are safe from asbestos.
In UK law, the person responsible for the building has a duty of care to the people who live, work, or otherwise use the building and this means that they are obliged to put precautions and measures in place to limit the possibility of asbestos exposure. A big part of managing asbestos risk in taking steps to locate and remove any harmful asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
The responsibilities of homeowners
The rules around residential properties are different, and there is no specific legal duty of care that a homeowner has with regard to asbestos. Even when you hire someone to work at your premises, you do not have a legal obligation to protect them against asbestos exposure. This is something that should be managed by the individual taking on the work.
Of course, for homeowners there is the strong motivation with regard to personal safety and the safety of your family to ensure that there is no risk of asbestos exposure.
Have an asbestos survey carried out
If you believe you have discovered or disturbed asbestos on your property, the first course of action is to have an asbestos survey carried out. With non-residential building owners, this is a legal necessity, whereas for homeowners it is advisable. This survey will look for asbestos, including carrying out testing on any potential material.
Regulations demand that the findings of survey must be disseminated with anyone who might be at risk of asbestos exposure, in order to provide the location and condition of the asbestos to anyone who has the potential to come into contact with it. You might also assume that you have a legal obligation to carry out asbestos removal to minimise risk, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
You can read the full article on crucial-enviro.co.uk.
The team at Asbestos Fighters are fully qualified to carry out asbestos removal in homes and business premises and have the regulated equipment and training to ensure no one is put at risk. If you have concerns that there may be asbestos present in your building, contact us today for an asbestos survey. We provide surveys, asbestos removal, asbestos disposal and more – take a look at the full range of asbestos services we offer.