Asbestos Register UK
Last Updated on 4 July 2023
What Is An Asbestos Register In The UK And What Is Included?
An asbestos register in the UK is a bit like a school register. In a school register it will tell you all the children in the school on that particular day.
Likewise, an asbestos register works in the same way and will tell you all the various asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) which may be present in a school or commercial/public building on any particular day.
A school register is updated daily, and the asbestos register should be updated annually as a minimum, or following any significant changes to the building(s) in question, such as damage, removal or change of use.
Each item of asbestos will have its own individual risk assessment within the register. The assessment of risk is based on the type of product, its relative condition and the likely exposure of persons nearby.
Does My Property Or Workplace Require An Asbestos Register?
Having an asbestos register for your UK commercial property or public building is the starting point for safely managing asbestos in workplaces, and is usually part of a larger document known as an ‘asbestos survey’.
The two phrases are often used to mean the same thing. There are two main types of survey; The basic survey for managing asbestos and any basic maintenance in a building, is known as an ‘asbestos management survey’.
If you plan to undertake any work on a building, you then require a more detailed version known as a ‘refurbishment/demolition survey’.
Who is Responsible For The Asbestos Register?
There is a legal duty to manage asbestos in buildings in order to control it, either through ownership or the ‘maintenance’ responsibility afforded by a lease.
The starting point is generally the management asbestos survey, and in particular the asbestos register.
Once you are aware of the location of asbestos materials, you can ensure they are safe, sealed and employees and contractors are informed of the presence of these materials.
Working With Asbestos Containing Materials
You cannot work on asbestos containing materials without a license for more dangerous asbestos products, and appropriate training and PPE is required for working with lower risk asbestos products.
If you are at risk of exposure to asbestos due to the type of work you conduct, then your employer should provide appropriate asbestos awareness training. This is also a legal requirement.
Once you have an asbestos register in place, there is a legal duty in the UK (assuming asbestos is present) to create an asbestos management plan (AMP).
Furthermore, It’s extremely important that whomever oversees the plan, usually the duty holder or an appointed representative, is given adequate training, to be able to complete the task. Asbestos Awareness training in most cases is probably not enough.
When Should The Asbestos Register Be Checked and Updated?
In the UK, when any asbestos is removed or repaired, the risk assessments and register must be updated.
The register and plan then become a ‘live document’ that reflects the current picture in relation to asbestos.
Whilst there is no legal obligation to label asbestos materials, it acts as an excellent ‘last line of defence’.
The single most important part of the management plan and asbestos register use is some form of ‘permit to work’.
Specifically, this ensures that you properly check all activities that occur in the premises against the register to ensure no-one will be exposed to asbestos.
All ACM’s within the asbestos register should be re-inspected by a trained individual any time there is a significant change in the condition, and at least annually in the UK according to the guidance.
Asbestos that is not monitored and inspected can become damaged, degraded or weathered, and the risk may increase.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations CAR 2012 and relevant guidance documents cover all the required aspects discussed above.
Advice And guidance On Asbestos
If you are in the UK and unsure if your asbestos management plan is incomplete or needs updating, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide guidance.