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2. Asbestos in the workplace

The duty to manage asbestos

The duty holder is responsible for managing non-domestic premises.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 cover all commercial, industrial and public buildings such as warehouses, factories, offices, shops, hospitals and schools.

Basic principles of compliance

Before any work is carried out in a building that might contain asbestos:

  • a competent person should carry out an asbestos survey to identify whether asbestos is present in the premises, where it is and what condition it is in. If in doubt, assume that any material you need to disturb does contain asbestos.
  • carry out a risk assessment to determine if it is possible to carry out the work avoiding the risk of asbestos exposure. If this is not possible then identify who might be at risk and the level of risk.
  • decide if the work needs to be carried out by a licensed contractor. If it doesn't need a licence, there may be a requirement to notify (notifiable non-licensed work) and keep records of the work carried out.
  • ensure that any worker who is carrying out the work or likely to disturb materials containing asbestos, receives appropriate training to help protect themselves.