Understanding Your Duty to Manage Asbestos in Buildings

Asbestos is a hazardous material known for its harmful effects on health, it therefore requires careful management to protect people from exposure. If you’re responsible for managing asbestos in a building, commonly referred to as the ‘dutyholder,’ this guidance is for you.

Let’s delve into the key aspects of the role and how to become and maintain compliance with the legal requirements.


Who Is the Dutyholder?


The dutyholder comprises various roles related to a building’s management:

  1. Building Owner: If you own a building, you bear the responsibility for asbestos management.

  2. Landlord: If you’re the landlord of a property, you’re also the dutyholder.

  3. Maintenance or Repair Responsible Party: Individuals or organisations with clear responsibilities for building maintenance or repair fall under this category.

Assessing Your Competence


Before undertaking asbestos management, assess your own competence. Consider seeking suitable training for duty management or consulting industry specialists for additional support.


Protecting People from Asbestos Risks


As the dutyholder, your primary goal is to safeguard individuals from asbestos exposure risks. This includes:

  • Employees 
  • Visitors
  • Contractors 

Understanding the Duty to Manage Asbestos


The duty to manage asbestos applies to:

  1. Non-Domestic Premises: This includes factories, shops, and other commercial spaces.
  2. Common Parts of Multi-Occupancy Domestic Premises: Purpose-built flats and shared areas fall under this category.

Key Responsibilities of the Dutyholder


As the dutyholder, you must:

  1. Assess ACMs (Asbestos-Containing Materials):

    • Determine if ACMs are present, their quantity, location, and condition.
    • Presume materials contain asbestos unless strong evidence (such as testing by an authorised laboratory) suggests otherwise.

  2. Maintain a Record or Register:

    • Keep an up-to-date record of ACMs or presumed ACMs, including their location and condition.

  3. Risk Assessment:

    • Evaluate the risk of airborne asbestos fibre exposure.

  4. Asbestos Management Plan:

  5. Condition Monitoring:

    • Regularly assess the condition of ACMs or suspected ACMs.

  6. Information Dissemination:

    • Provide relevant information about ACMs to anyone working on or disturbing them, including emergency services.

Additional Resources


For detailed guidance, refer to the Approved Code of Practice: Managing and Working with Asbestos. It offers valuable insights to help you comply with your duty to manage asbestos effectively.

Remember, responsible asbestos management contributes to a safer environment for everyone. Stay informed, take necessary steps, and protect those within your building.

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