Asbestos overview

Video 2 of 33
3 min 59 sec

Understanding Asbestos-Related Risks and Legal Responsibilities

Asbestos remains a significant cause of work-related fatalities in Great Britain, highlighting the importance of effective management and legal compliance.

Asbestos: A Continuing Hazard in Older Buildings

Despite being banned in 1999, asbestos persists in many older buildings, posing a risk if not managed correctly.

  • Buildings after 2000 are typically asbestos-free
  • Asbestos-related diseases can emerge decades after exposure and are incurable

Who Should Be Aware of Asbestos?

This guidance is crucial for a wide range of professionals, including:

  • Building owners and landlords
  • Maintenance workers, employers, and employees
  • Asbestos surveyors, analysts, and licensed contractors

Complying with Legal Requirements

Key compliance steps include:

  • Understanding roles and responsibilities
  • Assessing asbestos presence and condition
  • Implementing risk assessments and control measures
  • Providing training and information on asbestos risks
  • Engaging licensed contractors when necessary

Self-Employed: Legal Responsibilities

Self-employed individuals have the same legal obligations as employers and workers.

Higher Risk Work Situations

Activities more likely to encounter asbestos include:

  • Structural alterations, drilling, refurbishments, demolitions
  • Installations, like smart meters, in older buildings

Managing Asbestos in Buildings

It's vital for building managers to ensure safety where asbestos is present:

  • Manage risks or remove asbestos in poor condition
  • Inform those in the building about asbestos and precautions

Public Buildings and Schools

Special guidance exists for public buildings, especially schools, to protect from asbestos exposure.

Legal Duty to Manage Asbestos

This duty applies to non-domestic premises and common areas in residential buildings:

  • Protect people from asbestos exposure
  • Follow the HSE Approved Code of Practice and guidelines


Effective management of asbestos and compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations is essential to mitigate the risks and protect public health.