In the UK the greatest cause of work related death is asbestos, which unfortunately contributes to around 4,500 deaths each year. This building material, which was widely used for domestic and non domestic buildings before the year 2000, can release dangerous fibres into the air when damaged. Exposure to these fibres can lead to four lung diseases. These are mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and pleural thickening. If you are the owner of a non-domestic property then it is your responsibility to manage asbestos, and ensure that you are complying with the latest Health and Safety Regulations. Not only is this a legal duty, it also helps to protect everyone on site and will allow for peace of mind.

To maintain your premises correctly and comply with Health and Safety Regulations you need to identify any asbestos containing materials (ACM’s), the type of ACM’s and the condition they are in. You will also need to asses the risks, and then have a plan of action to manage and control these risks. This is particularly true if you plan on having any building or maintenance work done on site, as this could damage ACM’s and cause fibres to become airborne.

Constructing an Asbestos Management Plan

Asbestos management can be carried out by expert companies, including AMS and similar reputable businesses. These companies carry out asbestos management surveys, which identify asbestos in the workplace, and then construct a plan to comply with Health and Safety Regulations. This may include regular re-inspections if undamaged ACM’s are found, or if you are having maintenance or building work done it could involve asbestos removal. This work has to be carried out by a licensed contractor.

The surveys carried out by expert companies will help you to maintain your business premises correctly and create a safe workplace. Asbestos is the greatest cause of work related death, so you will need assurance that the asbestos situation in your building is being managed and that you and your employees are not exposed. It is particularly important to be aware of your asbestos situation if you plan on having any work done to your building, as without knowledge you could damage ACM’s and release fibres into the air. This can be controlled with a consultancy that can help to establish risks and arrange for the safe removal of ACM’s if necessary.

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