5. Make a register and assess the risk
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The information in the survey report should be used to form the asbestos register, which is a key part of your asbestos management plan.
The asbestos register is a live document which must always contain current information on the presence and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
It helps you actively manage any asbestos, or presumed asbestos, in your buildings.
The register is your record of known and presumed ACMs. It will need regular updating in line with any changes to risk, for example deterioration in condition.
What to include in your register
Your register should include, as a minimum:
- all known and presumed ACMs in your buildings
- the type of ACM
- how much asbestos there is and its condition, including dates of the original and last inspection
- the potential of each ACM to release fibres (a material assessment) and likelihood of disturbance (a priority assessment) during the day-to-day running of the building
- where asbestos is presumed to be located if the surveyor has been unable to access areas (these locations should be kept to a minimum)
Including the following for each ACM would further help you to effectively manage asbestos risk:
- photographs to confirm location and for routine condition monitoring
- actions and due dates
- evidence of actions being completed
- condition assessment due date
You should update your register at least once a year as part of your asbestos management review or before if anything changes the risk from an ACM.
The register can be a paper or electronic record.
Producing a risk assessment
You must include in your register a risk assessment which will help you identify and prioritise any ACMs requiring remedial action. Consider:
- the information gathered on the location, amount and condition of the ACMs
- whether there is easy access to the ACMs
- whether people work near an ACM in a way that is liable to disturb it
- the numbers of people who use the area where the ACMs are
- if maintenance, refurbishment or other work on the premises is likely to be carried out where the ACMs are
Material and priority assessments
The management survey report will contain a material assessment for each ACM, whether sampled or presumed.
The material assessment looks at the type and condition of the ACM and the ease with which it will release fibres if disturbed. This will give you a good initial guide to any actions needed to manage the risk.
The risk assessment must also take into account the likelihood of each ACM being disturbed by occupants, routine maintenance and cleaning etc.
This part is called the priority assessment. If you have been provided with a priority assessment in your survey report you will still need to validate this as only you will know what happens in your building.
Algorithms are used to provide scores for each of these assessments. When these are combined they will give an overall risk assessment score which will help you prioritise if you have large numbers of ACMs.
HSE’s comprehensive guide to managing asbestos in premises provides algorithms you can use. But you can use another approach to setting priorities for action.
Updating your register
To update the information in your register, you should:
- complete regular inspections to check the current condition of ACMs and update your risk assessment and management actions if ACMs have deteriorated
- update the register to indicate when any ACMs are removed or repaired
- make additions to the register when new areas are surveyed or materials sampled and asbestos is identified
- change the risk assessment and actions if there has been a change in the likelihood of disturbance, such as room-use change or planned maintenance