October 2, 2022

What are asbestos management plans, what does a good management strategy look like?

An asbestos management plan is either a hand written or a typed document that details exactly who is responsible for managing asbestos in a commercial or public building.
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What is an Asbestos Management Plan?

An asbestos management plan is either a hand written or a typed document that details exactly who is responsible for managing asbestos in a commercial or public building. An asbestos management plan helps people with management and control of buildings and other relevant structures to prevent exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

Do I need an asbestos management plan?

Asbestos management

When you are legally responsible for the repair and maintenance of commercial or industrial premises, you are classed as the Duty Holder.

The asbestos management plan is intended to explain how the person responsible for the building, the Duty Holder, intends to manage the asbestos present to prevent persons being exposed to the asbestos.

If asbestos is confirmed in your building, you will be required to have an asbestos management plan to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012. This is a requirement for all non-domestic premises in both the public and private sector where asbestos can pose a threat to individuals or the environment.

More about asbestos management plans

Whichever method is chosen, whether hand written or a digital copy, it’s vital that the asbestos management plan is accessible to all who may need to see it, ie staff, visitors and tradesmen. It must also be easy to read, understand and be kept updated.

Before arranging for any work to be done you should start by writing an ‘asbestos management plan’. This should include:

  • who is responsible for managing asbestos;
  • the asbestos register you have just made;
  • plans for work on asbestos materials;
  • the schedule for monitoring the materials’ condition; and
  • telling people about your decisions.

How to manage and control asbestos?

Before you start any work in a building that might contain asbestos (eg built or refurbished before the year 2000), you need to do the following:

  • Identify whether asbestos is present and determine its type and condition. Normally by way of a suitable and sufficient survey.
  • Carry out a risk assessment. Including what materials re present and who might disturb them
  • Decide if the work needs to be carried out by a licensed contractor. What risk do the materials pose?
  • If the work is not licensable, decide if the work needs to be notified. How firmly is the asbestos bonded in a matrix? Is it friable? Minor or short duration?
  • Ensure those carrying out the work are suitably trained. Awareness training or information they need to avoid work that may disturb asbestos during any normal work

Asbestos management policy regulations and legal requirements?

The duty to manage asbestos is set out in regulation 4 of the ‘control of asbestos regulations 2012’, which you can review by clicking here. It’s a key part of your requirements for HSE compliance and, of course, there could be legal repercussions if anything goes wrong due to negligence.

Asbestos management in commercial premises?

In a standard commercial lease, the tenant is responsible for all repairing obligations, and this would typically cover asbestos. Where there is asbestos in the building the duty to manage this would rest with the tenant.

To comply with the ‘control of asbestos regulations 2012’, if your commercial premises was built pre-2000, firstly you must check for asbestos containing materials.

If ACMs are found, an asbestos management plan needs to be documented and acted upon. This goes for all ‘non-domestic’ buildings including factories, offices, warehouses, shops, hospitals, and many more.

Asbestos management in schools?

The same principles apply and an asbestos management plan for schools should be documented and implemented in the same way as a commercial building.

It is important that schools are clear on who the dutyholder is. The dutyholder is normally the employer. For academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools the employer will be the school’s governing body. The proprietor is generally the employer in independent schools – or in some cases the governors or trustees.

As part of the asbestos management plan, schools should have in place a process to ensure that regular inspections are undertaken of any ACM’s that are easily accessible and/or that are in a location that could result in them becoming damaged.

Marine Asbestos Management Plan and Asbestos management on ships?

What Is a Marine Asbestos Management Plan? A Ship or marine asset specific Asbestos Management Plans (AMP) provide details of how the asbestos on your vessel, identified or presumed, is to be managed during the period between identification (during the IHM survey) and removal.

The use of asbestos on board vessels is also banned according to SOLAS regulations. Since 1 July 2002, the installation of materials that contain asbestos has, under SOLAS regulation II-1/3-5, been prohibited for all ships, except for some vanes, joints and insulation. From 1 January 2011, any installation of materials that contain asbestos will, under SOLAS regulation II-1/3-5, be prohibited, for all ships without exceptions.

To prevent uncontrolled treatment of asbestos containing materials during normal maintenance (e.g. when a leak occurs), summit Environmental can draw up an Asbestos Management Plan for your vessel.

For more information on asbestos on ships, check: Asbestos management plan according to IMO MSC/Circular 1045.


Asbestos management in buildings containing flats

In a similar way to fire safety, there is a legal duty on the person responsible for managing the maintenance and repair of common areas in buildings containing flats to “manage” asbestos.

The requirement is in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and applies only to common areas such as foyers, corridors, staircases, lifts.

If you decide to leave in place ACMs or presumed ACMs that are in good condition, make sure it is on your record and keep this information up to date. You must make sure that everyone who needs to know about the asbestos is told about its presence, eg maintenance workers, contractors. You can label ACMs clearly with the asbestos warning sign or use some other warning system (for example colour coding).

Need an asbestos management plan template?

This should include:

  • Who the duty holder is
  • Responsible persons
  • Which buildings are included.
  • Site plan
  • Asbestos register, including what materials are where
  • Management strategy including inspection timescales and who will undertake them
  • Action plan
  • Training
  • Emergency plan

For more on a template see here:


How and when do I update my asbestos management plan?

You will need to keep your Asbestos Management Plan under review. You must update it if:

  • new information, for example from refurbishment and demolition surveys
  • work is undertaken on ACMs, such as encapsulation or boxing
  • damage occurs, such as changing lights
  • ACMs are removed

Your asbestos register should be used to record the regular inspections carried out by school personnel to check on the condition of ACMs. You should ensure that your register is reviewed at least annually. Any changes to the asbestos register or your Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) will need to be communicated to all relevant staff.

What happens if the asbestos management plan fails?

If something goes wrong and you find that there has been, or may have been unplanned

disturbance of asbestos, you should:

  • stop any activity in the affected area immediately
  • remove everyone from the affected area
  • ensure that staff and pupils are not able to access the area and do not remove any items including equipment, books or personal possessions from the area
  • get advice from an asbestos expert regarding any necessary remedial action
  • prevent access to the area until any necessary remedial action has been taken

Best practice for asbestos management?

Asbestos management and completing an asbestos management plan isn’t just a one-time event; it’s something you’ll need to manage, monitor and maintain whilst asbestos containing materials remain present within your building.

How can Summit Environmental help with asbestos management plans?

Working on a laptop with paperwork around
Asbestos Management. Identify what, where, how and by who?
  • Learning what you have in place already and how your systems and responsibilities are arranged and provide advice.
  • Reviewing your Asbestos Management Plan annually to ensure it is kept up to date.
  • Auditing your Asbestos Management Plan to ensure it is working.
  • Provide asbestos training.
  • Keep the management of your premises in your school under review.
  • Writing you a new Asbestos Management Plan (AMP).
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