Asbestos can be found in any building constructed before the year 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc) and causes around 5000 deaths every year. When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases.

Businesses’ legal requirement regarding asbestos

The legal obligations of a business in relation to asbestos are governed by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. All business owners and premises holders have a duty of care to mange asbestos, protecting anyone working within the building.

Do I need an Asbestos Survey for a Commercial Property?

The first thing that any building owner needs to do is have an asbestos survey carried out by a professional asbestos surveyor. This as standard includes carefully taking samples of potential asbestos or asbestos-containing materials for testing.

The outcome of this survey will give the business owner the opportunity to use all of this information either to make a decision about the next stage of creating an asbestos management plan or remove the asbestos.

Could an employee make a personal injury claim relating to asbestos?

If a person is diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, they have up to three years from the date of their reasonable knowledge of their diagnosis to start the claims process. If an individual was diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease more than 3 years ago this would then mean they have run out of time to make a claim.

In order to make a claim for compensation following exposure to asbestos the following would need to be proven.

You have suffered an asbestos-related disease

Was as a result of exposure to asbestos during the course of your employment

Your employer at the time knew the risks of contact with asbestos and did not take reasonable steps to ensure your safety.

Protecting your staff against exposure

It is important to take all possible precautions to minimise the threat. Once the first initial asbestos survey is undertaken it is then pivotal to follow this up with an asbestos management plan. Once these are both in place, the asbestos survey experts will then advise on further steps or recommendations.

If you do not have a plan to deal with asbestos and put it in action, you could face:

a fine of up to £20,000
imprisonment for up to 12 months
For a serious breach you could face an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years.

There are many specific rules around reducing the threat of asbestos, so we make sure everything is done correctly and legally.