Keep it simple... light bulb.

Asbestos Management Plans are a fundamental part of Regulation 4 – Duty to Manage Asbestos in Non Domestic Premises , in fact the whole emphasis is on ‘MANAGING’ your Asbestos. This, however, doesn’t mean that it must be a 100-page document that covers every aspect of your business.

If you look at the example Asbestos Management Plan on the HSE website, the document is four pages long, including the Asbestos Register and Site Plan.

The management plan is there to help you and your colleagues manage asbestos throughout your property or portfolio of properties so needs to be a document that can be easily understood, referenced and followed, especially when dealing with an emergency.

I’m sure you have sat through training sessions talking about SMART goal setting:

  • S          – Specific
  • M         – Measurable
  • A          – Attainable/Achievable
  • R          – Realistic
  • T          – Time Based

With the above in mind, ensure that the plan is specific to asbestos and your property or portfolio of properties. What is right for one business might not be suitable or applicable for yours. Consider how you can measure the effectiveness of the plan through review and audit. Make sure that the plan is attainable and realistic for your size of property or properties, there is no point writing procedures into the plan that you cannot commit to either through personnel, infrastructure or finances. Ensure any recommendations made within the plan have a realistic time scale and ensure the plan is reviewed on a regular basis.

When considering your Asbestos Management Plan, we would recommend focussing on the following key areas:

Management Structure

Who is the responsible person for Asbestos ‘Dutyholder’? This could be corporately or at site level and we would always recommend a deputy as a secondary contact point.

Signing In Procedures

This can form part of your overall signing in policy and covered with a statement explaining when/how contractors and visitors are informed of any asbestos risks within the property.

Emergency Procedures

Document procedures and points of contact and escalation if an inadvertent disturbance of an asbestos containing material is suspected.

Asbestos Registers

Document the asbestos risk assessment that has been carried out on your properties, what asbestos registers exist, how they are updated and reviewed and importantly how they are made accessible to contractors, visitors and staff.

Asbestos Contractors

If appropriate, document details of your key approved asbestos contractors.

Asbestos Training

Document the level of asbestos training required by certain staff members and any requirements on your contractor supply base.

Revision History

Ensure you review your plan on a regular basis and record any updates.

If you feel that your current Asbestos Management Plan does not meet the above or is overcomplicated it might be time to carry out a review.

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