Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 and since that time it has not been used within any form of construction. The problem is that prior to that date asbestos and asbestos-based materials were used extensively in the UK for many decades. Asbestos could be found within many different types of construction purposes, as lagging on piping and within insulation in houses, extensively used within engineering circles and within the shipbuilding trade amongst other industries and sectors.
If you are the owner of a commercial or residential building, or you are the person under contract to manage a building and all tasks related to the repair and maintenance of it, you do have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos. The problem with asbestos is that it is present in so many buildings and structures in the UK due to the fact it has only been banned in the last 20 years. Problems can arise with asbestos at times where a building or structure is due to be demolished, or if a refurbishment project is being undertaken.
All it takes is for asbestos or materials containing asbestos to be disturbed slightly, or moved, for asbestos fibres to be released into the air. When this happens, it can have dire long-term consequences to any person who inhales them. Asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related illnesses take many decades to be detected in the vast majority of cases. That is why we still see so many asbestos-related deaths in the UK despite the ban of asbestos in construction so long ago. Asbestos is still a lurking danger within many buildings and structures across the country.
The Duty Holder of a building is the person legally responsible for the management of asbestos and this is bound by The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Asbestos was common in the 1960s and 1970s in particular and can still be found present in many buildings that were constructed during this period and before.
As the duty holder you are responsible for hiring a licensed professional asbestos survey company if you fear that asbestos is present in the building that you are responsible for. This should be a process undertaken whether the building is to remain in use as it currently is, or whether it is to be demolished or worked on as part of an extensive refurbishment and renovation project.
An asbestos management plan can be devised and implemented effectively once an asbestos management team has conducted an extensive asbestos survey. The analysis should include information about the precise location and quantity of all asbestos present in the building, as well as the condition of the asbestos. In some cases, asbestos can be managed and sealed up to be left in place, in most cases however an asbestos removal service should be undertaken by professionals to ensure there is no lasting threat in the building. Whatever the situation it is important that you work with professional experts in the field, an asbestos management company that understands the dangers of asbestos and how to manage and remove it for the safety of all.