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Identify asbestos, assess the risk and then manage it.

It's a legal requirement!

Asbestos is the biggest occupational killer in the UK and appears in over 3000 different building products used in our homes, offices, factories and schools.

The population most at risk from contracting Asbestos related diseases are building maintenance and repair workers who are unknowingly disturbing asbestos containing materials. Legislation designed to protect these workers has been in place since May 2004.

If you are responsible for maintaining any type of property with the exception of a domestic house with no common shared areas, you must manage the asbestos within it. Failure to comply can result in heavy fines, disqualification as a director and even imprisonment.

Identification of asbestos is carried out during an inspection of the premises by a qualified surveyor. Samples of suspect materials are collected and later analysed under a microscope. The confirmed asbestos containing materials are assessed for the risk they pose and recommendation made on how to manage those risks. Many low cost solutions exist for managing asbestos; removal is a very last resort.

Do I have to remove all asbestos?

No - Asbestos is only a risk to health when it releases its fibres. So where the material is in good condition and in a location where it will not be disturbed it should be left in place and effectively managed. However, as part of the governments urban regeneration scheme (under the Finance Act 2001), a 150% tax relief scheme has been introduced on land remediation which includes buildings. So now the costs of asbestos removal can be set against company profits as tax relief. For example, if £50,000 is spent on removing asbestos, £75,000 can be deducted from the property owner’s taxable profits.

It is also possible that part of our professional and survey fees and possibly, depending on the nature of the project, the reinstatement expenditure may also qualify. Relief can be claimed on expenditure incurred from May 2001 but there are restrictions, including a requirement that those claiming relief were not the original polluters of the land. The claimant must also be a UK registered company.

HSE - Maintenance workers warned – don’t take the gamble with asbestos


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