Managing Asbestos - Commercial Property Owners have Legal Responsibilities - ARCA provides support and reassurance

Today ARCA, the UK’s leading association representing asbestos removal contractors, has made available a publication for commercial property owners and managers, giving an overview of their legal responsibilities on managing asbestos.

Asbestos management is an issue faced by property owners and managers (the clients), whether owning/managing one premises or a large portfolio of premises, constructed prior to the year 2000. That is, they are responsible for ensuring that employees and non-employees are not exposed to health or safety risks as a result of the presence of asbestos.

These clients have legal responsibilities to manage risks from asbestos, so to support them ARCA has covered the main regulations in a new publication.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees and non-employees who may be affected by the employers’ activities.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012), places a legal duty to ‘manage asbestos in non-domestic properties’, on those who own, occupy, manage or have responsibilities for premises that may contain asbestos.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) places explicit responsibilities on clients, for example, if asbestos removal is required the client needs to appoint a competent asbestos removal contractor.

To support this last point, ARCA members need to complete two satisfactory site audits every year to maintain membership. In January 2017, ARCA made all site audits ‘unannounced’, meaning members (excluding Ireland) do not have prior knowledge of when, or where, an ARCA auditor will be assessing their performance. Therefore, being unannounced, ARCA site audits are now an even stronger system of reassurance for all parties, including end-clients.

The ‘Managing Asbestos - Clients Legal Responsibilities’ leaflet is available on the ARCA website as a free download.

Further information for commercial property owners and managers is available here.