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Asbestos Management Plan Advice

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Last Updated on 12 March 2024

Asbestos management plan advice

What Is An Asbestos Management Plan?

In the UK, an asbestos management plan is a written or digital document that details the management of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) within a building or property to safeguard the health and safety of occupants and workers.

Owners and managers of non-domestic properties must have an asbestos management plan if their building was built before 2000, during the period of widespread asbestos use.

Listed below are the things that a typical plan includes.

Identifying ACMs

This involves conducting a comprehensive survey to determine if there are any ACMs in the building, as well as their location and condition.

Risk assessment

Evaluating the risks associated with the identified ACMs, taking into account their condition, location, and probability of disturbance.

Actions taken by management

Steps to handle the risks linked to ACMs, such as encapsulation, sealing, or removal of the asbestos, based on the level of risk.

Monitoring and review

Regularly monitoring ACMs to prevent deterioration and periodically reviewing the management plan for effectiveness are essential procedures.

Training and information

Providing training and information is essential to ensure that employees, contractors, and others understand the risks associated with ACMs and can work safely.

Property owners and managers can meet their legal obligations by implementing an asbestos management plan. This helps protect the health and safety of individuals in the building and ensures compliance with UK regulations on asbestos management.

Duty Holders Must Ensure An Asbestos Management Plan Is In Place

Does the building you own, control or maintain have asbestos containing materials within it? If so you have a legal duty under The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) to manage those materials and have an asbestos management plan in place.

If you are a large organisation you probably have the resources to solve the issue. If you are a small organisation this can be more difficult.

Summary of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

In summary, the CAR 2012’s primary provisions are as follows:-

  • a provision that companies educate staff members on the dangers of asbestos and how to handle it safely, as well as provide them with the necessary information, instruction, and training.
  • companies have a responsibility to create a written plan describing the steps they will take to control asbestos in their workplace.
  • a requirement that employers select a qualified individual to manage asbestos risks.
  • companies must inform the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of any work that could disturb asbestos.
  • a stipulation requiring employers to maintain records of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in their workplace and to inform everyone who might work on or near those ACMs of their existence.
  • a requirement that businesses evaluate the skills of employees working in asbestos work.

All employers, independent contractors, and other people who have authority over non-domestic buildings in the UK are subject to CAR 2012.

Contractors and maintenance personnel who perform work on non-domestic premises are likewise subject to the regulations.

Why Is There a Duty To Manage Asbestos?

Due to its strength, durability, and resistance to heat and chemical deterioration, asbestos was frequently utilised in building materials in the past.

However, asbestos fibres that are inhaled have the potential to become lodged in the lungs and result in major health issues.  Serious illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos include asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, so there is a responsibility to manage asbestos in the workplace.

Asbestos is still the biggest industrial killer in the UK with around 5000 people dying every year.

Therefore, simply put, the law is there to force those in control of buildings to protect persons within the buildings from asbestos, hence the ‘Duty to manage asbestos‘.

So how do you go about managing asbestos on your premises?  A good starting point is to determine the cost of having the asbestos removed appropriately. If the long term costs of managing asbestos are likely to be greater than the costs of removal, then the choice should be simple.

If you plan to sell a property containing asbestos then be prepared for the ‘issue’ potentially interfering with the sales process. Lenders and purchasers can be dissuaded from purchasing by asbestos materials being present within a property.

How To Create An Asbestos Management Plan

To manage asbestos and ensure you are complying with UK regulations, you need a written management plan. This can be done by yourself or companies such as RB Asbestos Consultants. The following questions/items should form part of your management plan:-

  • Is the existing asbestos register or survey up to date and adequately reflects the situation in the property?
  • Are the asbestos containing materials in a safe condition?
  • Are the materials labelled appropriately?
  • Whom will be in charge of the management process as they will need some training?
  • Inform staff as to the presence of asbestos in their work areas.
  • Where will the asbestos information be kept? (it needs to be accessible, particularly for contractors and maintenance personnel)
  • Ensure there is a ‘permit to work’ system implemented and all contractors are vetted and signed in.
  • Ensure all contractors are appropriately asbestos awareness trained. If they are not then they shouldn’t be working on your site.
  • If works to the property are required that go beyond basic maintenance, ensure a ‘Refurbishment/Demolition’ asbestos survey is carried out.
  • Have a plan in place for when ACM’s become damaged.
  • Ensure ACM’s are regularly monitored and at least inspected annually by a competent person.

These are the cornerstones of a decent asbestos management plan. The plan in effect should be a ‘live document’ that reflects the ongoing changes within a building.  So it needs to be kept up to date and reviewed every 12 months.


sample asbestos management plan

Part of a sample management plan from HSE website. https://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/assets/docs/managementplan.pdf


How Often Should An Asbestos Management Plan Be Reviewed?

So just how frequently should you be reviewing your asbestos management plan?

The short answer is, as often as is appropriate to the use of the area or building.

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, an Asbestos Management Plan is designed to protect employees, staff, contractors and visitors of the site, from being exposed to asbestos.

One of the most important parts of the plan is how you provide contractors access to your site.

Contractors are often the most likely to cause damage to asbestos containing materials (ACM’s).

The minimum requirement for re-inspection of an asbestos product in most cases would be annually.

However, if there is an operation within a property you control where ACM’s are at risk of being damaged, either those ACM’s should be catered for with more regular inspections or the ACM’s should be removed by an appropriately licensed or trained company.

We suggest our clients review their overall Management Plans (or us on their behalf) at the same time they undertake a full inspection of ACM’s on the site.

The frequency of inspection needs to be commensurate with the risk. One of our existing clients inspect their ACM’s on a daily basis, as the material is located close to a food production facility. Some products that are low risk and away from front-line operations can be inspected much less frequently.

Get In Touch For Help With Managing Asbestos

We hope you find this information useful when you review your own organisation’s policies and plans.  If you need any advice at all on managing asbestos in your property then please call 0800 141 2676.

We help all types of organisations from Charities, Housing Associations right up to UK and international companies.

Or alternatively, click on the following link to arrange an asbestos management survey at your convenience.

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