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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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New asbestos rules

NEW rules to reduce the threat of fatal diseases caused by asbestos in non-domestic properties, came into force this week.

Environmental health officers at Allerdale Borough Council are offering advice to local people about the new regulations.

Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulation 2002 creates a new legal duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises.

The person responsible for the maintenance or repair of the property must now carry out an inspection of the building to find out whether it contains asbestos and what condition it is in.

They must also carry out a risk assessment and create a management plan.

Many non-domestic properties in Allerdale are likely to contain asbestos materials.

Unless this material is properly managed, building and maintenance workers may breathe in harmful fibres when carrying out everyday jobs.

All non-domestic buildings, whatever their function, are affected by the legislation.

It also covers common areas of residential rented properties, including shared halls, stairwells, lift shafts and roof spaces.

Rachel Horton, Allerdale’s specialist environmental health officer, said: “The new legal duty is about managing any asbestos in a building - not about removing asbestos.

“Asbestos in good condition and not likely to be disturbed should not be removed.”

More information on Regulation 4 can be found at the health and safety website, www.hse.gov.uk.

Alternatively contact Allerdale’s environmental health department on 01900 326450.

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