Whoever is responsible for maintaining all or part of business premises must also manage any asbestos in the premises.

Depending on the terms of the lease, this could be the tenant, landlord or managing agent. In the event that maintenance responsibilities aren’t clearly specified, the legal duty rests with the party which has the greatest degree of control over the premises.

If you hold this legal duty, you must take reasonable steps to determine the location and condition of materials likely to contain asbestos in your property

Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not, keep an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or presumed ACMs in the premises and assess the risk of the likelihood of anyone being exposed to fibres from these materials.

Finally prepare a plan setting out how the risks from the materials are to be managed and take the necessary steps to put the plan into action.

Remember that even if you aren’t legally responsible for managing asbestos risks in your premises, you have a duty to co-operate with the party who is.

A management Survey is carried out as part of risk control in occupied buildings (previously called a Type 1 or Type 2 Survey).

Demolition/Refurbishment Surveys are carried out prior to any remedial work so the asbestos can first be safely removed (previously called a Type 3 Survey).

This survey is destructive as even hidden asbestos containing materials must be identified.