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The duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises*

Asbestos, a category 1 human carcinogen, is subject to two sets of regulations – REACH (the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulations 2007) 6 and, CAR 2012. REACH prohibits the importation, supply and use of asbestos. CAR 2012 covers work with asbestos, and licensing of asbestos-removal activities. Regulation 4 of CAR 2012 contains an explicit duty on the owners and occupiers of non-domestic premises, who have maintenance and repair responsibilities, to assess and manage the risks from the presence of asbestos (the duty is summarised in Figure 1).

The risks will vary with circumstances and can arise from normal occupation of a building or from inadvertent disturbance during the repair, refurbishment and demolition of premises. The risk assessment will be used to produce a management plan which details and records what actions to take to manage and reduce the risks from asbestos.