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March 6, 2019

Asbestos in Commercial Properties- The Risks

Do you know if there is asbestos in your commercial property.? In the past it was a common building material and only recently have the dangers become apparent. It was only banned from buildings in 2000.

In the 1970s Artexed ceilings were all the rage and seen everywhere. Much Artex contained asbestos .If moved or damaged it is dangerous. It was also often used in the construction of buildings due to its insulation effects.

Many taking on a Commercial Lease are not aware of the risks. If they are responsible for repairs and maintenance they are also responsible for any asbestos on the property.

The Law -Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012

These set out rules on how a commercial property should deal with any asbestos. The penalty for non compliance include a fine of up to £20,000 and up to 12 months in prison. If anyone’s health is affected they could sue for far more than this.

Medical Risk – Inhaling fibres causes asbestosis a serious lung disease and lung cancer

What you should do if you have a property built before 2000

  1. Check if asbestos is present
  2. Work out who is responsible for it -you or the landlord -most probably you.
  3. Have any potential asbestos surveyed by someone suitably qualified
  4. Have any potential asbestos analysed properly
  5. Put together a Plan for management of the asbestos.

Tell People – Most important tell anyone who may be affected . This includes your staff and most importantly any tradesmen who may come along and drill holes or attempt to move asbestos material.

Moving asbestos should always be done by a suitably qualified contractor.

The Potential Cost -All this can get very expensive so check what you are taking on before you sign anything.

Do not be tempted to turn a blind eye to any risks. It is dangerous for you and anyone who comes into the property who you will be liable for.

If you are thinking of taking on a commercial property then speak to us for advice.