Portfolio - Case Study 9

National Asbestos Advice

Asbestos Advice

Bruce Shaw has considerable experience in the management of asbestos building materials.  Current Regulations require all commercial owners and or tenants of property to protect those using, visiting and particularly those maintaining their building against the effects of asbestos.  Firstly, we can fully explain the legislation and in turn then discuss your building(s) to establish which properties might be at risk.  Principally, buildings constructed after 1990 are ‘assumed’ under normal circumstances to be clear of asbestos materials (although exceptions do exist).

The next phase (referred to as a Type 1 survey) involves all properties ‘at risk’ being inspected by means of a non-disruptive walk through survey to clarify whether or not there are in fact any visible signs of asbestos in the building.  The inspection is purely visual.  The next level of survey is a Type 2, which again is a walk round although more detailed.  Where suspect materials are identified they are subsequently tested and analysed by certified laboratory.  A Type 2 report will confirm the presence of asbestos, which kind it is, its condition, a risk assessment and outline all the follow up actions required in order to comply with the regulations.

What is not readily appreciated by many is that there are an extensive number of asbestos containing materials present throughout the building stock.  From roof sheeting and fire cladding to artex, ames tape, electric fuse guards, composite flooring and safety stair nosings to name but a few.  If asbestos based materials are identified it is now mandatory to put in place a ‘Management Document’ to explain how it will be safely maintained and also who within the building or business is responsible for it (Duty Holder).

We have advised many clients and regularly prepare Management Documents as well as training up Duty Holder’s on their responsibilities.  The process is relatively straight forward and need not be prohibitively expensive.

Footnote

Despite the passing of time, it is quite clear that many owners/occupiers have still not appreciated that they have an obligation to consider whether or not their property does or does not contain asbestos under this piece of legislation.  This is principally because most people do not know that asbestos exists so widely and do not imagine that it will affect them or their business.  It is increasingly obvious that it will take many years before the nations building stock is accurately appraised and in turn that the working population is properly protected against the potential of asbestos related disease.