Duty to Manage Asbestos, in brief, for premises built before the year 2000:

IDENTIFY if you have ACMs in your premises with a managing survey.

LIST all ACMs found in a premises specific Asbestos Register.

CREATE a Management Plan to identify what is required.

MANAGE the ACMs as detailed within your Management Plan

IDENTIFY any other ACMs with a Refurb/Pre Demo Survey

MANAGE the ACMs detailed within the Refurb/Pre demo Survey

UPDATE your management plan following any remediation work.


Basic description of how to comply with your duty to manage asbestos:

If a commercial premises was built before the year 2000, it must have an Asbestos Register (Reg 4 Duty to Manage).  The register details whether Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) are present to enable them to be managed. To create a register you need an Asbestos Management Survey carried out. 

During the survey potential ACMs must be presumed to contain asbestos, until proven otherwise, so it is generally better to have them sampled to provide the required proof.  This ensures that you only manage confirmed ACMs rather than having the ongoing expense of managing non asbestos containing materials included under a presumption.

If any ACMs are identified during the survey, even if they are only presumed, you need an Asbestos Management Plan to detail how you are going to manage the risk and to aid planning any remediation work that you may require.


Domestic and Commercial Premises

If you are planning any work that has the potential to disturb the fabric of a building, i.e. disturbing ceilings, walls, or floors to fit a new kitchen or new electrics for example, you must have an Asbestos Refurbishment or Pre Demolition Survey carried out.  Example scenario

This additional information must be added to, or be used to create, your Management Plan prior to carrying out any work. 

The asbestos register and management plan must be provided, during the planning stages, to all people who will be working on site, i.e. asbestos remediation contractors, plumbers, electricians, general contractors etc., all of which should request it prior to starting work.  This applies to both domestic and commercial premises and supports the Duty of Care regulations.

If you have identified ACMs in your premises, you need to use your management plan to help you prioritise any potential work that you deem necessary from the risk assessments contained within the survey and management plan.

Bear in mind that the survey may identify a high risk, but with your knowledge of the premises, you may decide that you can restrict access to the area until remediation work can be carried out at a later date.  You may decide that other items are a higher risk, possibly due to their location so it is essential that you plan or are heavily involved in planning any works.

Ideally, any works involved in managing the asbestos, be it removal, enclosure or encapsulation, should be carried out prior to any other contractors arriving on site.  This enables your management plan to be as current and accurate as possible when it is supplied to the other contractors and should ensure that all follow on works can be carried out with full understanding of any ACMs left on site.

For completely independent information, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have written 12 steps to managing asbestos. A direct link to the first step can be found by clicking on the yellow rectangle to the left that asks "Duty to Manage, Do you Comply?".