Are you a landlord, tenant or managing agent of a commercial property? In that case you will need to manage asbestos, which includes carrying out a survey. Asbestos related diseases are a significant issue in the UK and without a survey, there is no way of knowing if there is asbestos in your commercial property.
There are several regulations and steps involved to get your commercial building surveyed for asbestos, so read on to find out the exact process especially if you are selling your property.
1. Check who is responsible for asbestos surveys in your commercial property
Depending on whether you have a contract or lease, you will need to check who is responsible for asbestos. If you are servicing a non-domestic property this will need to be undertaken by the owner of the property.
If you do not know how to carry out an asbestos survey – don’t worry! You don’t have to do it yourself, so receive a free no obligation quote here. All you need to do is make sure the asbestos survey is carried out properly, and a qualified surveyor is able to do this for you to keep people in the commercial property safe.
2. Find out where the asbestos is in your property and have the material analysed.
When carrying out the asbestos survey, it is essential any asbestos or potential asbestos is identified, to keep in line with Health and Safety regulations for those visiting your commercial property. By using asbestos surveyors, they will be able to inspect your property for material containing asbestos and will then inform you of this and remove it.
Although asbestos can be visible, a majority of the time it is not, which is why a professional surveyor will be able to identify the microscopic material. Although, be aware of roofing, floor tiles and window caulks that may contain asbestos.
If any asbestos is found, the accredited surveyor will take a sample and analyse this, so be sure to keep a record of this.
3. Undertake a UK health and safety risk assessment in your commercial property
Fulfilling an asbestos survey is important, due to the many health risks associated with this. Every year, over 5000 people die from living or working in buildings which have asbestos. Furthermore, it can take 15-60 years for symptoms of asbestos diseases to reveal themselves. So if you’re looking to sell your commercial property, it is important the next occupants are aware of the known issues and this is taken care of.
Therefore, undertaking a full health and safety risk assessment is vital in ensuring the popular material used in commercial buildings until 1999 is surveyed and removed. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), commercial property owners are required by law to protect people on your premises from issues such as asbestos.
This involves identifying what can cause injury or illness, deciding how likely it is that the risk can harm someone and take action to eliminate the hazard or control the risk.
It is also essential to take under consideration the following:
- The type and amount of asbestos
- The expected level of asbestos
- Controls used to reduce the risk and exposure
- How any potential waste will be disposed of or managed and emergency procedures
To have a further look into the risks and how to control asbestos, have a look at The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This outlines the requirements necessary to remedy asbestos in commercial properties. Even after implementing actions, it is important to review and update the risk assessment as and when this is required and share with the necessary people.
4. Ensure the relevant people are aware of the known asbestos in your commercial property
If you are looking to sell your commercial property, or looking to buy one, it is vital to share any known risk regarding asbestos. As sellers, it is important to share this information with your buyers. For buyers, if you are having work done on the property it is essential to share this information with builders and contractors. The risk assessment will also need to be made available on site, so make sure you have an extra copy handy!
5. Repair the material with asbestos, have it sealed or removed.
If there is asbestos within your commercial property, according to HSE regulations, a licensed contractor will be needed to remove or work on asbestos through encapsulation and sealing. This can be done by spraying asbestos coatings, asbestos lagging or insulation. It is advisable to do this in order to ensure the maximum safety of occupants of commercial buildings, especially if your seller is looking to convert into high-risk buildings, such as large offices and blocks of flats.
If you do not carry out an asbestos survey and have it managed you can receive a fine up to £20,000 or be imprisoned for up to 12 months. For significant asbestos violations in your property, you can face an unlimited fine and/or be imprisoned for up to 2 years.
If you are selling a commercial property and need an asbestos survey, UK Safety Management offers free quotes and work to remove asbestos. We have specialist engineers to diagnose and amend this without charge and obligation! Fill out the following request form to receive a free no obligation quote from us, to keep your commercial property safe from asbestos.