Managing asbestos risks in business premises

If you are responsible for maintaining all or part of any business premises, you must also manage asbestos in the premises.

For leasehold premises, depending on the terms of the lease, this could be the tenant, landlord or managing agent. If maintenance responsibilities are not clearly specified, the legal duty rests with the party which has the greatest degree of control over the premises – often the tenant.  If you hold this legal duty, you must:

  • take reasonable steps to determine the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos
  • presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
  • keep an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or presumed ACMs in the premises
  • assess the risk of the likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials
  • prepare a plan setting out how the risks from the materials are to be managed
  • take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • review and monitor the plan periodically
  • provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them
  • make sure that material is analysed for asbestos content in accordance with ISO17025, which sets standards for both quality management and technical requirements in laboratories

Even if you are not legally responsible for managing asbestos risks in your premises, you have a duty to co-operate with the party who is.

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