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You've had your asbestos survey done, but did you know you may still face prosecution?

Since Regulation 4 the legal "Duty to Manage Asbestos" came into force in 2004, many organisations small and large frantically rushed to have asbestos surveys carried out. Asbestos experts suddenly appeared out of the woodwork to do these surveys. This race to have surveys done, combined with inexperienced surveyors, led to a significant number of inadequate surveys being carried out. Asbestos was widely missed, putting lives at risk and costing organisations thousands in remedial actions.

Many organisations, believing they had fulfilled their duty by conducting a survey, filed the reports in a drawer or cabinet among other property documents and thought nothing more of it.

Later, when work was carried out and asbestos was disturbed, or when an expert identified a problem, managers were often baffled as to how they ended up with a significant asbestos problem or even faced an HSE prosecution.

The HSE has made it clear that the duty to manage asbestos is just that: a duty to manage, not merely a duty to survey. The survey is a tool to compile the asbestos register, a list of asbestos-containing items in the building. Items on this list should be prioritised, with the most hazardous addressed first through removal or repair.

A key document, the Asbestos Management Plan, outlines decision-making processes, responsibilities, and the actions to be taken within specified timescales. The plan should also detail how its effectiveness is assessed through a regular review process. It must include emergency action details and a clear process for commissioning work and instructing refurbishment surveys, a key compliance aspect of the CDM Regulations.

For many organisations, the lack of an asbestos management plan has led to prosecutions by the HSE, an increasingly common occurrence. Therefore, it is not sufficient to merely conduct a survey; you must also maintain an up-to-date, comprehensive asbestos management plan. This demonstrates control over asbestos in your building and any work processes that may affect it.

To avoid prosecution and a criminal record, don't just commission a survey; ensure you have a management plan, keep it updated, and you will remain compliant with the law and protect lives.

Asbestos Risk Control Ltd has extensive experience in providing asbestos management guidance to help our clients achieve compliance with straightforward and understandable solutions to what is often seen as a daunting challenge.

Please feel free to contact us for an asbestos management audit, and we can help bring you up to date.


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We will review your asbestos compliance and provide solutions to ensure you are up to date.

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