To ensure that your property is compliant, you will have to undertake a fire risk assessment and assess the potential risks associated from the exposure to asbestos containing materials. Each requirement falls under separate pieces of legislation, but are equally as important so as to safeguard those occupying your premises and to make sure that you remain compliant with the law.
Fire Risk Assessment
The Regulatory (Fire Safety) Reform Order 2005 is the legislation in England and Wales (similar legislation also exists in Scotland and Northern Ireland), which places duties on the “responsible person”; this is any party who has control of a non-domestic premises, or a degree of control over certain parts of premises.
The Responsible Person must ensure that a suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment is undertaken by a competent person. It’s a legal requirement to carry out a detailed assessment identifying the fire hazards and risks within the premises. Following the assessment, the Responsible Person must ensure that items identified within the “fire action plan” are suitably addressed.
The law says that you must regularly review your Fire Risk Assessment, although there are no clear timescales, however, it is commonly considered reasonable to do this at least on an annual basis, or whenever there is a change to the level of risk on your premises, such as when: –
i) there is a change in use, type or number of people in your premises
ii) there has been a change in the layout of the premises
iii) a fire incident or near miss has occurred
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, places duties on employers and building owners to manage asbestos on their premises. The first stage in managing asbestos is to identify the location, type, condition and the extent of any asbestos containing materials; this will involve undertaking an Asbestos Survey.
There are two types of Asbestos Surveys, there is Management Survey and a Pre-Demolition/Refurbishment Survey. The survey required will depend upon the activities undertaken within the premises and any future proposed activities, such as refurbishment or building works.
Following your survey, if the presence of asbestos has been identified, then you have a duty to manage it. You will need to: –
- have an Asbestos Management Plan
- develop a means of passing on information to those who may potential disturb asbestos containing materials such as contractors, tradesmen, maintenance operatives etc,
- provide asbestos awareness training
- undertake regular Asbestos Re inspections to ensure that any asbestos containing materials remain in a safe condition and there has been no fibre release
If your premises were built after 2000, then the HSE state it is safe to assume that no asbestos containing materials are located within the fabric of a building as asbestos was prohibited from 1999, therefore a survey is not required.
So, To Summarise, Do I Need A Fire Risk Assessment & An Asbestos Survey?
The simple answer is yes you do need a Fire Risk Assessment for all commercial premises and shared areas of domestic premises (i.e. such as bocks of flats), and yes, you’ll need an Asbestos Survey if your premises were built before the year 2000.
Marpal are a Health and Safety Consultancy who provide Fire Safety and Asbestos Management Services. Call us today to receive sound friendly advice. Call Marpal on 01332 668877 or email us at [email protected].