Health and safety and its legislation touch every aspect of modern life. Ensuring a business is compliant can sometimes seem like an administrative minefield. One area of Health and Safety that is often overlooked and misunderstood is the legislation around Asbestos – according to CLA Member Alex Wareing.
Alex is the Operations Director and qualified asbestos surveyor for TACsurveys LLP, which provides cost effective specialist compliance surveys for all businesses and landlords.
He warns that although asbestos management and Legionella risk assessments have been a part of Health and Safety law for many years, businesses across all sectors are failing to meet the basic requirements.
“What has become apparent from the work we have been conducting nationally is that a lot of rural estates and businesses are behind on their statutory compliance. The most common problem is the sheer scale of buildings with asbestos present and the administration of managing it.
“ For example it is not compliant to have had a survey / assessments conducted 4 years ago and have it filed away, it needs to be managed regularly. I always use the analogy of a cars MOT. It’s great that it passed in 2013 but that is irrelevant for 2017.”
Too often people only become aware of the regulations as a result of their insurance company failing to renew their policies. This has also been the case with some finance providers refusing commercial mortgages because the relevant surveys are not in place.
As a minimum, every business needs to have an asbestos management plan in place.
This is derived from having an asbestos survey conducted to locate and confirm the presence of any asbestos in all the buildings on site (built before 2000) and it is strongly recommended that a qualified and experienced asbestos surveyor should undertake the survey.
If asbestos containing materials (ACM’S) are found within the building, then they must be managed accordingly as a requirement of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Usually the ACM’s in the building will have an annual inspection to assess and monitor their condition. The survey should then be updated and any changes, recommendations or removal noted.
The re-generation of rural estates’ derelict buildings is another area - albeit to a lesser extent - that is sometimes overlooked. Regulation 5 of CAR2012 requires a building to have had a full intrusive refurbishment / demolition survey PRIOR to works starting. CDM co-ordinators and principal contractors are generally on track with the commissioning of the surveys but it is sometimes overlooked until something hazardous is discovered during the refurbishments.
TACsurveys LLP is offering free initial consultations for CLA members.
01332 974665 – 07879818952