Monitoring and recording the condition of known asbestos containing materials, ‘Asbestos Re-Inspections’ , is a key element in the dutyholders responsibilities under Regulation 4 – Duty to Manage Asbestos.
But are you making the most of this opportunity to review how asbestos is managed at a site level and the opportunity to improve your Asbestos Registers?
You probably need to start with assessing your Asbestos Registers , the format they are held in and how easy it is to update and maintain a record of the historic visits.
Assuming you have a system in place that can be updated, then maximise this opportunity to improve your existing records.
Are there any ‘No Access’ areas that could potentially be accessed on this visit? Are there any presumed items that could be sampled to confirm the presence of Asbestos? Do the plans still reflect the layout of the building?
Can you improve the existing ‘Inspection Records’ a secondary image is a good way of placing the item in context and making it easier to identify. Could the surveyor’s comments be improved (or added where there are none). Capture a new image of the material.
If your register is ‘Location Based’ in other words descriptions and photos have been captured for each location in the building, then add ‘Review & Update’ these descriptions/photos to the scope of the visit.
In addition to the content of the Asbestos Register, take the opportunity to review how well your asbestos procedures are adhered to by your staff. Do they understand the requirements placed on them? Do they know how to access the Asbestos Register? A level of training and understanding could provide your staff with the added confidence to assist contractors or identify a potential issue before it occurs!
Too often a re-inspection is seen as a ‘Box Ticking’ exercise by the dutyholder and the asbestos consultancy. Go to site, mark everything down as ‘No Change’, still can’t access the locked room or sample the high-level boxing, book it in for the same time next year.
You will see examples of properties being re-inspected year after year, where there are only no access items or presumed items, so effectively not even monitoring the condition of Asbestos.
Carrying out a meaningful re-inspection doesn’t necessarily relate to an increase in cost.
A little extra effort and planning and co-operation from the dutyholder can go a long way.
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