Over 500,000 commercial, industrial and public buildings in the UK & Ireland are likely to contain Asbestos materials. Unless this material is properly managed, workers, especially maintenance workers and contractors, may breathe in the deadly fibres whilst carrying out their routine jobs.

Your Responsibilities

Legislation places a legal duty on those parties responsible for maintaining and repairing the premises, (owners, managing agents, employers, self-employed), to manage the risk from Asbestos. In particular the duty holder must:

  • Take reasonable steps to find materials in premises likely to contain asbestos and check their condition.
  • Presume that materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence to the contrary.
  • Make a written record of the location and condition of asbestos and presumed asbestos containing materials (ACMs). Keep this record up to date.
  • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to these materials.
  • Prepare a plan to manage that risk and put it into effect.

The importance of a Management Plan

A written plan must be prepared to ensure that as far as reasonably practicable, no one can come to harm from asbestos on the premises. The plan can be a paper copy or in a version accessible from a computer database. In particular the plan must include the following elements:

  • An organisation structure with clear lines of responsibility.
  • A survey of the premises to locate and assess ACMs. The results of the survey must be recorded in an easily retrievable form, which can then be used to make a risk assessment. In turn this can be used to draw up the remedial part of the management plan.
  • A procedure for ensuring that asbestos containing materials are inspected on a regular basis to ensure that they are kept in a good state of repair.
  • If necessary repair or remove any asbestos containing material due to its condition or location.
  • Provide information on the location and condition of ACMs to anyone potentially at risk.
  • Label or colour code ACMs.
  • Define and use safe systems of work. This may include a permit to work system.
  • Review the management plan at least every 6 months.

Asbestos: The Survey Guide (HSG264)

The asbestos guidance document includes important regulatory changes for the way asbestos surveys are planned and delivered. The guide replaces and expands on the surveying industry standard- ‘MDHS100: Surveying, sampling and the assessment of asbestos containing materials’.

The guidance assists asbestos surveyors, as well as providing advice for those who are required to implement and manage asbestos in non-domestic premises.

There are two types of survey: the ‘Management Survey’ and the ‘Refurbishment and Demolition Survey’. The surveys are self-explanatory and promote better liaison between surveyor and duty holder pre-survey to ensure accurate and useable survey information.

For a full list of the latest legislation affecting the Management of Asbestos, please visit

HBE Asbestos Management Services

HBE will develop a personalised Asbestos Management Plan for your organisation consisting of:

  • An Asbestos policy and a procedures document for each site.
  • 24/7 online access to your records through our secure online records system.
  • Regular surveying and bulk sampling:
    • Risk Assessment Survey – Location & assessment survey (presumptive survey)
    • Management Survey - Standard sampling, identifi cation and assessment survey
    • Refurbishment and Demolition Survey – Full access sampling and identifi cation survey (pre-demolition)
  • Condition reports
  • Risk management programmes

Management Surveys

The management survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.

The survey will often involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties, and will include an assessment of the condition of the various ACMs and their ability to release fi bres into the air if they are disturbed in some way. This ‘material assessment’ will give a good initial guide to the priority for managing ACMs as it will identify the materials, which will most readily release airborne fi bres if they are disturbed. The survey will usually involve sampling and analysis to confi rm the presence or absence of ACMs. Although it can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos.

Refurbishment and Demolition Survey

The refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling.

Web Based Risk Compliance System

We understand how important it is to have access to up-to-date information. With HBE, you have the option to access your reports via our award winning secure online Risk Compliance System, MBR, detailing the fi ndings of all surveys and tests undertaken.

About HBE Risk Management

With over 30 years’ experience as trusted advisors to some of the UK and Ireland’s largest private and public sector organisations, HBE Risk Management, has the knowledge and expertise to ensure that our clients’ buildings not only meet, but exceed all legislative and health and safety requirements.

As an R&D-led organisation, our unrivalled team of health and safety experts, engineers and industry-leading scientists – working from locations right across the UK and Ireland – is constantly innovating and diversifying to ensure that we can respond to our clients’ needs with the latest, state-of-the-art health and safety solutions.

Whether you are responsible for an acute hospital, a manufacturing or industrial facility, an office block, a school, a sheltered housing scheme or other building to which the public have access, our industry-accredited team off ers leading environmental health expertise and a range of specialist services.

For more information about Asbestos Management Services call HBE Risk Management, email or visit

For more information or to view a demonstration of the MBR system, call HBE Risk Management, visit or email