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Case 266 - Company insists all visitors must be shown the asbestos register

Issue

A member of staff has been told that all visitors to the building where she works have to be shown the comprehensive asbestos register, even if they are only coming for a meeting and not doing any physical work. For example a visitor attending a verbal meeting with the store manager has to sign to say they have seen it. The building is a retail outlet with back offices and does have managed asbestos in some areas but not all .The enquirer would understand if the visitor was a contractor doing works to the building fabric, but felt this was over-the-top and wonder if the myth busters could confirm.

Panel decision

The serious health risks from exposure to asbestos are well known. The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 contain a duty to pass on information about asbestos to people liable to disturb it in the course of their work or visit. However, there is no reason why people visiting simply to attend a meeting would need to see this information.
New guidance published by the Retail Asbestos Working Group (RAWG), and supported by HSE, provides sensible, practical, advice on managing asbestos and working with asbestos containing materials in trading stores and shops. The guidance confirms that the measures described by the enquirer go beyond what is needed to manage the risk of exposure for visitors.

2014-03-17