The presence of asbestos alone should not be a cause for concern. Asbestos only becomes a risk to human health when it is released into the air and breathed in.
Duty holders – those who are responsible for maintaining or repairing non-domestic premises – are required to actively manage any asbestos in buildings. This provides a practical way to identify, prioritise and properly plan the actions that need to be taken to manage the risks.
Where asbestos containing materials are assessed as being in good condition and not in a position where they are likely to be damaged they should be left in place and monitored.
However, where asbestos is in poor condition or is likely to be damaged during the normal use of the building, it should be sealed, enclosed or removed, as appropriate.
Those considered most at risk of exposure to asbestos fibres are tradesmen and maintenance workers who disturb the fabric of buildings during the course of their work. Precautions must be taken to ensure that tradespeople don’t put themselves or others at risk by disturbing asbestos.