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Duty Holder

Asbestos Knowledge Base

There are potentially a wide range of people who will have obligations under regulation 4 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, including employers and the self employed. The owner of premises will have duties whether the premises are occupied or vacant. The extent of the practical duties will be determined by contractual and other existing legal obligations towards the property.

The duties in regulation 4 will rest with the person in control of maintenance activities, whether that is the occupier, the landlord, the sub lessor, or the managing agent. Where no such obligation exists, eg where there is no tenancy agreement or contract or where the premises are unoccupied then the duty falls on the person in control of the premises.

The extent of the duty will in most cases be determined by the degree of responsibility over matters concerning the fabric of the building and the maintenance activities carried out. An owner may rent or lease out workplace premises under agreements where the tenants are responsible for all alterations, maintenance and repairs in the premises. But if the premises are non domestic and the owner is responsible for maintenance and repairs and controls access into the building, the owner must carry out the work required by regulation 4 themselves.

Where sole responsibility rests with the owner, for example in the common parts of multi-occupied buildings, or where there is no tenancy agreement or contract, eg the premises are unoccupied or occupied solely by the owner, they would have the duty for complying with regulation 4 for those premises or parts of premises.

Although the ACoP refers to duty holder, someone else can be nominated to do all, or part, of the work but, note that,

The legal responsibility cannot be delegated.

Anyone who is asked to do some work as a result of this regulation must know what it is they have to do and be able to do it safely. They should have suitable competence and training for this work. Employees and safety representatives must be consulted in good time about the appointment of any competent person.

If the duty holder decides to appoint a separate organisation or person to carry out some or all of this work, they should assess whether the individual or organisation concerned:

  • Have adequate training and experience in such work.
  • Can demonstrate independence, impartiality and integrity.
  • Have an adequate quality management system.
  • Are carrying out any survey in accordance with recommended guidance, HSG264, Asbestos: The survey guide.

The person with the duties under regulation 4 (whether they are the employer, self-employed person who is in charge of the workplace, or owner) should make sure that everyone who works in the premises knows who has been nominated and what tasks they have been given. This information should be disseminated to all employees whenever possible.

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