Keep people safe from future dangers of asbestos, regulator warns

  • The dangerous material was banned from construction 25 years ago
  • Asbestos may still be present in buildings built before 2000
  • New HSE campaign emphasises legal duties to manage asbestos

Buildings that people use in their daily lives, such as workplaces, schools, and hospitals are the focus of a new campaign to keep people safe from asbestos.

Asbestos: Your Duty  aims to improve understanding of what the legal duty to manage asbestos involves.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) wants anyone with responsibilities for buildings to do everything they must do to comply with the law and prevent exposure to this dangerous substance, which was widely used in post-war construction before it was completely banned in 1999.

The legal duty to manage asbestos covers a wide range of buildings such as museums, schools, hospitals, and places of worship, as well as workplaces like offices and factories.

Businesses and organisations responsible for premises built before the turn of the century, and especially those between 1950 and 1980 when the use of asbestos in construction was at its peak, must carry out the necessary checks and understand their legal responsibilities.

People who visit or work in these buildings will not be exposed if asbestos is properly contained. But it can become dangerous when disturbed or damaged.

Updated information, new templates (including an asbestos management plan template), and explanatory videos can be found on HSE’s website to help anyone who is unsure of their legal duties – or just need to refresh themselves – on what they need to do.

HSE will check how asbestos is managed when visiting a range of buildings – like schools and hospitals – requiring those responsible for managing asbestos risks to ensure they have the right arrangements in place.

Sarah Albon, HSE’s chief executive said: “To keep people safe from the harms of asbestos, a culture of safely managing asbestos is needed in our building industry and among those responsible for buildings.

“Asbestos exposure in Great Britain is still the single greatest cause of work-related deaths due to exposures decades ago.

“Together, we must protect people in the workplace and reduce future work-related ill health.”

(HSE Latest Press Releases)

Here are some of our the latest Updates that you make be interested in…

Company director given suspended sentence after worker crushed to death
Recycling company fined after workers exposed to wood dust
Company fined as worker falls through roof and fractures back