You have a Legal duty to manage asbestos in your Office Buildings.
The Legal penalties are very punitive for failure to comply with the regulations.
The responsibility moves down the chain, from Freeholder to Leaseholder to Managing Agents etc, and as well as shared responsibility, the authorities will attempt to determine who is in their opinion the ‘duty holder’.
Even if you are not the duty holder, but have some connection to the property and have some knowledge or information about the building, you are obliged to co-operate with the ‘duty holder’.
As an example, landlords must pass on information to new tenants and in the case of leaseholders, you are obliged to provide access for managing agents, decorators, plumbers, joiners, gas fitters, plasterers, etc, or indeed anyone who may be about to work on the fabric of the building.
Asbestos can reside in office buildings outside of the structural fabric and exist inside simple items like floor tiles and ceiling tiles.
In most cases, a simple asbestos non intrusive survey will identify potential hazards and the qualified asbestos surveyor may insist on the occasional sample being tested for the presence of asbestos fibre.
We offer a full range of services in this area and offer simple advice on how to create a managed plan to deal with what is sometimes purely a simple ‘managed asbestos plan’.
I.e. a plan of where asbestos items are (i.e. tiles), a statement of their condition and suitable marking and a regular inspection and record of condition. The objective only being to maintain a record of where and what it is – so that during say regular maintenance, contractors can take appropriate action to protect themselves and their workers.
If however, the property is due to be developed and demolished as part of the process, then a much more vigorous investigation will be required prior to that event.