Managing asbestos in the workplace is both a legally binding responsibility and a moral obligation to keep workers safe. The Control of Asbestos Regulations came into place in 2012, obliging all commercial premises to keep asbestos under control through implementing surveys, testing, annual inspections and treatment or removal where necessary.
Given the potential risks to employees and the high costs involved in asbestos containment and treatment, a budget for asbestos management is crucial for owners of older premises. How much does it cost to remove asbestos, and how much should a company budget for asbestos management? Every building is different, so the answer will vary considerably depending on the severity of the asbestos problem.
Get Your Business Surveyed
The first step is to have an extensive survey carried out on the entire property to identify how much of an asbestos problem you have. Asbestos can pose a serious risk to maintenance and construction workers unless managed correctly, and knowing where the dangers lie is essential. A detailed survey will outline any Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) and indicate whether the best course of action should be encapsulation, repair, or removal.
Appointing a specialist to complete your survey can save you time and money later on. It is also a legal requirement that buildings constructed before 2000 have an asbestos management survey. Click here for more information and a no-obligation quote.
Create A Plan And Budget
Once the survey is complete, your Asbestos Management Plan will begin to take shape. The plan should include a range of actions that need to be performed annually, such as ACM inspections, update of ACM risk assessments, and treatments. You will also need to provide a detailed Asbestos Policy so that employees are aware of the company’s asbestos management plans, including relevant risk assessments and action plans.
Training for staff on mitigating risks is vital to ensure all employees and stakeholders are kept safe. Training should include refresher courses and site induction for new staff or contractors. The asbestos management budget will need to accommodate both the inspection and treatment of any ACM and ongoing professional development for any workers involved.
Reasons To Designate An Asbestos Budget
In the past, most companies didn’t routinely plan or allocate a designated asbestos budget. Instead, they would find themselves having to react quickly on discovering an asbestos issue, subsequently being forced to find substantial funds or take from elsewhere in the budget. Not only does this pose a financial risk for a business but waiting until asbestos is accidentally disturbed also carries a risk to the health and safety of employees and contractors who could be exposed to asbestos fibres.
The management of asbestos in a non-domestic property is the responsibility of the leaseholder or owner. Failure to do so can lead to improvement notices from enforcement agencies, as well as financial budgets spiralling out of control, not to mention the endangerment of lives and risk of prosecution. Today, the risk of inadvertent exposure to asbestos fibres from accidental disturbance is reduced significantly, thanks to better awareness and improved legislation.
Contact One Of Our Specialists
The best way to keep everyone safe and reduce overall costs is to take control of any asbestos issues with the advice of experienced specialists, such as Occupational Management Consultants. Handling asbestos without the necessary training is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all times. To find out more or arrange a consultation, contact OMC for help at every stage.
Image source: Unsplash