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Asbestos in buildings
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 place obligations on dutyholders to assess and manage asbestos in buildings. There is a common misconception however, that compliance is a one-off exercise when in fact, it is an ongoing process, particularly in premises that need regular maintenance or are subjected to building services modifications, cable installation, IT roll-outs and space remodelling. There are three strands to compliance; first, the initial assessment and identification of asbestos containing materials (ACM); secondly, the preparation and implementation of a management system to hold asbestos information and documentation such as the Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Plan; and thirdly, ongoing management arrangements including the implementation of safe procedures as well as subsequent invasive surveys whenever any maintenance, installation or building work is to be carried out. The ultimate goal is to be able to prevent the disturbance of any ACM in the building and so avoid exposure of persons working in the premises. This can only be done if all building work is controlled and the Asbestos Register consulted before any work takes place. After all, it is the workers who need protecting as they are the ones most at risk.
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