Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 imposes a duty to manage Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) in non-domestic premises. The duty to manage is imposed on the dutyholder; this is any person who has an obligation to maintain or repair the premises. There could be more than one dutyholder for any one premises and the responsibility extends to all people entering the premises whether occupiers or workers.
In order to manage the potential risk from ACMs in non-domestic premises, the dutyholder must ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment is carried out as to whether asbestos is or is liable to be present in the premises.
This assessment is usually a management survey which should be carried out by an asbestos surveyor with the necessary qualifications and experience to undertake such a survey. As part of the survey process the surveyor may take samples of products that are suspected to contain asbestos and send them to a laboratory for analysis.
In most instances it is impossible to tell from a visual inspection whether building products contain asbestos due to the minute size of the fibres that are only visible under a microscope. Asbestos fibres can break up to so small, that they can't be seen by the human eye. This is why the safest way of surveying your home is to have a professional, because only knowledge & experience in the industry can lead to a safe & asbestos free home.
Non-domestic premises includes the common parts of domestic premises, such as stairways in houses converted into flats.
In the case of owner/occupied domestic properties the duty under the Regulations passes to the workers within a property. However, there are so many ACMs used in construction that it is not realistic to expect an individual tradesmen to be aware of the presence of asbestos. Tradesmen, particularly at risk, are electricians, plumbers and heating engineers. Therefore, if you are having works carried out within your house or flat, it is a very sensible precaution to instruct an asbestos surveyor to undertake a survey.
Over 5 million homeowners may have to eventually go through the ordeal
of residential asbestos removal. Despite knowing of the harmful effects
of six carcinogenic asbestos minerals, manufacturers and governments
decided that the benefits were greater than the possible harmful
effects. Consequently, the use of asbestos became widespread after World
War II, especially in building materials. Now homeowners face serious
health hazards, financial burdens, and possible lawsuits due to the
Although asbestos is not dangerous when it's in good condition, it's very dangerous when the fibres have deteriorated or have become airborne. The small, nearly invisible fibres can easily be inhaled or embedded in bodily tissues when they become airborne or are disturbed by vibration. Exposure to high amounts of asbestos for long terms can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. These are all incurable, mostly fatal diseases, which may not develop symptoms until 15-40 years after the exposure occurred. Recent research has suggested that asbestos may also cause or aggravate breast, ovarian, prostrate, and laryngeal cancers and pleural plaques.
Having asbestos in the home can also create numerous financial and legal concerns for the homeowners. By law, the homeowner is to be held accountable for any harm due to negligence that befalls someone entering the home. Not taking proper measures to warn people of possible asbestos exposure or to prevent people from being exposed can be considered as negligence. Even if there weren't any lawsuits, the homeowner would have to pay very expensive medical and mostly likely funeral expenses if a member of the family became ill due to asbestos exposure.
Having asbestos in the home also makes it more difficult for the owner to obtain insurance and loans or to sell the house. Many lenders, insurers, and realtors charge higher fees for their services when working with older homes and newer homes that are known to have asbestos in them. Others simply refuse to work with older houses due to the asbestos factor.
If the asbestos is removed, repaired, or abated, then a professional contractor should perform the work. Any amateur attempts may create a higher health hazard for the entire family and community. The work requires numerous, expensive safety measures to be taken, including inspections, work area containment, and special equipment and clothing. The attempt to save money could eventually cost someone his or her life.
If you're worried about the presence of asbestos in your home,
testing is the only true way of identifying whether or not you have to
worry. Asbestos surveys can tell you how a lot of informative factors
that you may need to know moving forward, depending on what you want to
do with the asbestos in your home. Asbestos will most likely be present
in homes built before 1980, raising the chance of having
damaged/broken asbestos in your home which could put your health at
risk. If you own a property or are working within a property that you think may have asbestos, let us know today & we can direct you to a asbsetos survey provider that will take care of you.
If you are planning works to an existing non-domestic premises then a refurbishment and demolition survey is required. This need not be for the entire property and can be limited to the area where the works are being undertaken. As the title suggests, this type of survey is commissioned before any building works are undertaken in order to identify the presence of any asbestos-containing materials.
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