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‘Asbestos’ can be a scary word. Combined with words like ‘school’ it can be a very emotive subject, which is all the more reason for ensuring that asbestos is managed properly. This doesn’t just apply to schools; it applies to any business, housing association, public building or other workplaces. Most responsible businesses know that before construction work is carried out specific refurbishment and demolition surveys have to be undertaken. Most are also aware that asbestos must be managed in properties regardless of whether any construction work is being undertaken. This is generally through the use of management surveys in order to identify asbestos present within a building. However managing the risk from asbestos requires more than just organising a survey if you are to fulfil your health and safety obligations.
In order to properly meet your asbestos management responsibilities you need to follow the advice set out by the HSE. The first step is to carry out a management survey, this will identify the asbestos present within your buildings. Once you have identified this material you should start to create your asbestos register noting the location, type and condition of the asbestos, so that you can assess the risk that it presents. This involves undertaking what is known as a priority risk assessment, which examines the likelihood of disturbing the material. The process is subjective and requires a working knowledge of how the building works. The results of the assessment provides guidance in the actions you should be taking for any asbestos containing material that may be present on your site.
Once you have developed your asbestos management plan it is then down to you to put it into action! It’s vital that you communicate the plan to anyone affected by it, as well as reviewing the plan on a regular basis. Buildings and their use change over time and it is really important that your plan stays up to date in order to minimise the health and safety risks to building occupants and contractors.
Ridge has extensive experience of asbestos management, planning and the creation of priority risk assessments. This is something that we are happy to discuss with anyone who needs guidance in these matters. We can also assist with the procurement and interpretation of asbestos surveys in order to get your asbestos management ball rolling. We only ever use UKAS accredited survey firms and would encourage you to do the same, as accreditation is the only way of quickly determining competence.
If you would like to discuss asbestos management services, or any other health and safety or compliance matters, then please email email@example.com or call us on 01993 815000.