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What are the roles and responsibilities of employers and business owners?

If employees within a business are at risk of asbestos exposure then it is down to the business owner/employers to make sure that those in the workplace are kept safe and are protected against some of the dangers that can occur when exposed to asbestos.

What do the asbestos regulations require employers to do?

Image of Asbestos Material and Safety Gear for Learn Q Asbestos Safety Responsibilities of Employers and Business Owners blogThe asbestos regulations were put in place to ensure that those who are likely to be exposed to asbestos are protected and are kept as safe as possible. Many of the requirements within the regulations are targeted to employers and those who are in charge.

The regulations state that employers should determine where there are possible risks of exposure to asbestos in the workplace and whether or not there are damaged materials that could increase this possible risk.

Not only this, but regulations are also there to ensure that employees fully train their employees to ensure that they are aware of the risks of asbestos and know what is going to be expected of them.

Who is responsible for asbestos in a workplace?

If asbestos is present or suspected in a workplace then it is down to the business owner to manage this. More often than not, they will need to speak to a landlord, should the property be rented and liaise with them to ensure that the asbestos is removed and that it is done in a way that is safe and that is going to keep everyone in the premises safe.

What are the responsibilities of a commercial landlord regarding asbestos?

When it comes to asbestos in a leased commercial property, it is down to the business owner to ensure that the potential asbestos risks are managed properly. However, a commercial landlord is likely to want to know more about what is happening and they may want to be a part of the process too.

More often than not, it will be suggested that the asbestos is assessed and managed using a professional, expert asbestos removal company.

What can employees provide to protect their employees against asbestos exposure?

There are several things that employers should provide their employees with to ensure that they are protected against the harmful effects of asbestos. The main way that they can do this is to ensure that every single employee within the business is fully trained and able to be aware of what they can do to keep themselves safe.

Not only this but should it be required, then the employer may want to give their employees PPE which is designed to protect them should they be in a situation that means that they are going to be exposed to asbestos and possibly could feel the effects from this exposure.

Risk Assessment

The first thing that you should always do when it comes to asbestos protection in a workplace is to carry out an asbestos risk assessment. These risk assessments will help to ascertain where the potential risks are and what can be done to lessen their impact.

It is always best to identify the possible risks as early as possible. That way you can put in place the right measures and ensure that the potential issues are mitigated as much as they can.

Asbestos Management Plan

Image of Asbestos Removal Team for Learn Q Asbestos Safety Responsibilities of Employers and Business Owners blogCertain fields will require employers and business owners to create an asbestos management plan. These plans are there to ensure that the identified asbestos is managed properly. This can be checking the condition of the material(s) that the asbestos is contained within and then, should the time come for it to be removed, how this will be done safely and with as low a risk as possible to those in the workplace.

More often than not, the first step of an asbestos management plan will be a risk assessment. This will help you to identify the possible asbestos in the property, which can then help when it comes to making plans for the future.

Training and Education

Much like many things when it comes to health and safety, proper training in asbestos, its risk and how best to manage it, can often be the best form of protection.

Not everyone is going to need a complete level of education or training, one that is comprehensive and full. Sometimes it is best to provide what is more of an asbestos awareness training; this should cover the potential risks, where asbestos can be found and what is needed to keep those who are at risk of being exposed to asbestos safe.

Control Measures

With asbestos, controlling the possibility of exposure is often the best way to protect people on a premises. The first thing to do is to try and ensure that the asbestos is not disturbed or the materials damaged, which can then release the asbestos fibres into the air.

Employees should be told to never eat or drink where there is a possible risk of exposure and they should be encouraged to never dry sweep or shovel any asbestos debris. The materials should always be handled wet, as this can reduce the chance that the fibres will be released.

It is also recommended that those who are exposed to asbestos, especially at high levels, are encouraged to wear PPE which will help them to be safe.

Workplace Policies

Workplace policies must be written up that will tell employees what is expected of them to keep not only themselves safe, but also those who are in the building with them safe.

Information and Warning Signs

We all need a reminder at times of what we need to do, which means that displaying warning signs and informative posters in areas where asbestos risk is most present, is a good way of encouraging people to keep themselves and those around them to be safe too.

Emergency Procedures

You may not think that asbestos being disturbed and people being exposed to it is to be classed as an emergency, however, this should always be seen to be the case. Emergency procedures for asbestos are going to need to be about minimising the potential risk of harm and disposing of it safely.

Contractor Oversight

Many business owners will ask for a licensed asbestos company to come and remove the materials and safely dispose of them. Whilst they should be properly trained in what they need to do, it is always best to ensure that you monitor them and that you keep in mind that there are certain measures that they need to follow.

Record Keeping

Record keeping is a key part of health and safety as a whole and asbestos risk management is no different. Accurate records of the potential asbestos risks and what has been carried out to reduce them must be complete.

These records should always contain the measures that are in place and should also contain any times that asbestos risk assessments are carried out and what they then find.

Regulatory Compliance

Another key part of asbestos management is knowing what the regulations and guidance around the asbestos state and what this then in turn means for your workplace. Being compliant with these regulations means that you are not only protecting yourself from any potential legal implications, but you are also going to be protecting those who are in the workplace too.


Communication is a key part of health and safety because it ensures that everyone is aware of the potential risks and what is being done to mitigate these risks. Communication needs to be effective and should contain everything that those who are being communicated to safe.

Review and Improvement

Whilst it is great to have plans in place that cover asbestos safety, you should also be aware that you regularly review and improve where you can. This means that you are going to be able to work on ways to protect yourself and those around you too.

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