Where could asbestos be located in your commercial property?

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Managing the risks posed by asbestos is a key part of the health and safety regime for every commercial property built before 2000. In order to do that to the legally required standard, you will first need to locate all the asbestos containing materials in the building.

Asbestos can be found in many forms in commercial properties.

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, the dutyholder (who could be an owner-occupier or landlord, leaseholder or managing agent, depending on the terms of any tenancy agreement) needs to draw up an asbestos management plan to protect workers and members of the public from being exposed to the fibres that cause mesothelioma and other fatal conditions.

The plan should include an asbestos register that details the location and condition of any asbestos, which must be referred to before any maintenance or refurbishment work is undertaken in order to prevent fibres being disturbed.

Prior to this being drawn up, the dutyholder must organise an asbestos management survey. Theoretically, you could carry this out yourself and save some of your budget, but the extent of the knowledge needed to recognise and test for all forms of the substance means it is sensible to use a specialist surveyor.

The types of asbestos that could be present include:

Asbestos Insulating Board (AIB)  - Soffit boards, external cladding, thermal insulation, wall partitions and under-window panels, ducts, fire doors, ceiling tiles, lift shafts, fuse boxes and meter cupboards

Lagging - Insulation of pipes, boilers and hot water cylinders

Sprayed / limpet asbestos - Fire protection in ducts, structural steel work, ceiling voids, columns and under floors

Loose fill asbestos insulation - Cavity walls, under floors and loft spaces

Vinyl materials - Floor tiles and some ceiling tiles

Asbestos composites - Fuse boxes, toilet cisterns

Textured coatings - Decorative plasters for walls and ceilings (eg Artex)

Asbestos cement - Corrugated roof sheets, wall cladding, guttering / downpipes, boiler flues, drainage pipes and water tanks

Identifying all of these substances, being able to accurately assess their condition and knowing whether to recommend removal of the asbestos containing materials is really a skilled job for a properly trained surveyor.

BLS Asbestos can supply both asbestos management surveys and asbestos refurbishment / demolition surveys and is licensed to undertake removal and disposal of asbestos. Call us on 01484 400558 or contact us via the website to request a quote.

Published: 27th July 2016