Licensees urged to manage asbestos

Related tags Asbestos Occupational safety and health License Health and safety executive

Licensees need to make sure their premises are asbestos safe by May 21, 2004, or they could face prosecution and unlimited fines.The Control of...

Licensees need to make sure their premises are asbestos safe by May 21, 2004, or they could face prosecution and unlimited fines.

The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 means that licensees have to locate asbestos-containing materials in their premises. It requires it to be monitored and, if necessary, removed.

Under current legislation employers already have a legal duty to prevent their staff from being exposed to asbestos but licensees will now be required to "manage the risk."

This means that information on the location and condition of asbestos in their buildings will need to be available to anyone who may work on it or disturb it.

In order to comply with the law publicans will need to ensure that they have management systems in place to provide information to those that may be at risk of exposure.

Tenants who are in control of the maintenance or repair activities under the terms of a lease will have responsibility for ensuring the property is safe. If the property is not held on a lease then the owner will be responsible for ensuring the pub is asbestos safe.

Asbestos could be present in almost any part of a pub property from floor tiles to roofing materials and in particular in older parts of the property such as the cellar. Although the use of asbestos has been banned in construction since 1999, the Government is concerned about the risk posed by an estimated six million tonnes present already in buildings.

Tony Payne, chief executive of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers' Associations (FLVA), said: "The most important thing is that licensees should get an asbestos survey of their pub done because of the risk to both contractors and employees."

"Licensees who are having work done on their premises that have not been made safe could be heavily fined. I know of a case where one licensee was fined £35,000."

Licensees who need to have asbestos removed must have it done by contractors approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Both the FLVA and the British Beer & Pub Association have published advice for licensees on how to deal with the new regulations. Advice can also be found on the HSE website

Related topics Property law

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