21st January 2015
Deaths from asbestos related diseases are on still on the increase, and although many are due to historical exposure, legislation is in place to protect employees and the public. This Act brought in measures to manage the risk and reduce exposure to asbestos.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 applies to agents who manage common areas such as foyers, corridors, staircases, gardens, lift shafts and also any access areas and stairs to flats above shops. It also applies to commercial properties.
Managing residential properties does not currently come under this Act however other laws will apply. These include the Defective Premises Act 1972 which means you are required to take reasonable care that tenants and visitors are safe from injury and illness from the condition of the premises. The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 requires that a rental property is fit for human habitation during the tenancy.
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1985 applies to you as an employer to provide a safe working environment for your employees, and this will apply to contractors working on your behalf. In 2011, a contractor was exposed to asbestos whilst working for a letting agent. The agent had pay £4,000 in fines and costs because they had not carried out the correct procedures.
It is therefore vital that you have the correct insurance in place, with any restrictions on cover relating to asbestos highlighted and addressed if necessary. Our team of Commercial Brokers at NWBIB will be pleased to assess your current arrangements and provide you with advice on any gaps in cover and a quotation if required.
Please email your details to Will Heading at firstname.lastname@example.org who will arrange for one of our team to call you back, or alternatively please call Will directly on 01223 792275.
More information regarding the regulations can be found at hse.gov.uk.