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Duty to Manage

Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 places a duty to manage asbestos onto persons or organisations that are responsible for maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises. In order to fulfil this duty the Duty Holder must maintain an Asbestos Register. This register will list all asbestos containing materials (ACMs) discovered in the premises, note the condition that they are in and any actions that need to be taken. If asbestos containing materials are removed at any point the register must record that.

In order to build a Register you must first identify the ACMs. At present the only approved method for doing so is to have a qualified surveyor conduct one of three types of survey, as noted here.

The Duty Holder must ensure that anyone working in the vicinity of identified ACMs is aware of their presence and that they are adequately trained. Ensuring that they have a Asbestos Awareness training is usually sufficient.

It often surprises most people to learn that there is also a grey area between non-domestic and domestic premises where a duty to manage also exists. What most people are unaware of is that CAR is a subordinate document to the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. In other words it is intended to elaborate on certain duties under that Act and to provide additional detail.

Under the Health & Safety at Work Act employers have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees. They also have a duty to provide information to others about their workplace. These duties apply to all those that have control over a workplace.

Landlords and housing associations have responsibilities to maintain certain areas of the properties that they own or operate and will employ tradespeople to carry out work in them. These areas include communal areas, corridors and stairways in shared housing; plant rooms, communal storage and services; and access areas.

By definition that makes these areas workplaces and thus the landlord or manager has the health & safety duties to his employees as stipulated in the Act.

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