What is an Asbestos Management plan?

What is an Asbestos Management Plan?

An asbestos management plan is either a hand written or a typed document on a computer that details exactly who is responsible for managing asbestos in a commercial or public building.

Whichever method is chosen, whether hand written or a digital copy, it’s vital that the asbestos management plan is accessible to all who may need to see it, ie staff, visitors and tradesmen.

It must also be easy to read, understand and be kept updated.

Also, It’s also important to note that the asbestos management plan is to be compiled and written before any repair or maintenance work is carried out on the premises.

Then, whenever any work is carried out that may affect the condition of the asbestos materials, you must ensure that the management plan is updated accordingly.

Asbestos materials must then be monitored on a regular basis (every 6-12 months) and the asbestos register and management plan must be updated to reflect any deterioration in their condition.

danger asbestos surveyors with RPE

Do I need an asbestos management plan?

When you are legally responsible for the repair and maintenance of commercial or industrial premises, you are classed as the Duty Holder.

This means that you will have a legal duty to manage any asbestos that may be located within the building(s) and will require an asbestos management plan to be put in place if the building is found to contain asbestos.

Therefore, If you identify as the duty holder, then you will firstly need to determine whether or not the building contains asbestos, and so the first task is to check what year it was built.

If it was built before the year 2000, then you can presume the building contains asbestos and must carry out further investigation.

Find out the history of the building and whether there is any record of it containing asbestos. Try to find out as much information as you can.

Once you’ve gained some knowledge on the history of the building, you will need to have the building inspected to find out for certain if it contains asbestos.

For small buildings, you can carry out this inspection yourself and then compile your own asbestos risk register which details the location of any suspect asbestos materials, the quantity and condition.

An asbestos management plan will then need to accompany the asbestos register.

As well as detailing who is responsible for managing asbestos, the management plan should also include details of any planned works on asbestos materials, a schedule for monitoring the condition of asbestos and a record of any decisions made.

Larger buildings will require an asbestos management survey

For larger buildings with more than 25 employees, the HSE recommends that you have an asbestos management survey performed by a professional Asbestos Surveyor.

An asbestos management survey will include a detailed report of the location, type and condition of any asbestos materials, helping you to go on and compile a management plan of your own, or many asbestos surveying companies will do this for you.

Once you have completed an asbestos register and/or an asbestos management survey, then the next step is to write your asbestos management plan which will form part of the asbestos register.

Example asbestos management plan drawing
Example drawing showing locations of asbestos on a building’s asbestos management plan

Need to see an example of a completed management plan? Then check out this document on the HSE website.

Who needs to know about asbestos in the building?

Once you have your asbestos register and management plan in place, you as the duty holder will have to inform other people about the presence of asbestos.

All employees and maintenance staff will need to be informed about the asbestos and will need to be told how they are to report any problems in the future an who to report them to.

Stick warning labels on any items that contain or may contain asbestos to make people aware and to lessen the chances of these materials becoming damaged or disturbed.

Construction and installation contractors, engineers, surveyors and anyone else employed to do any work on the fabric of th building must always be shown the asbestos risk register and management plan before any work commences.

Do I need a licensed contractor to encapsulate or remove asbestos?

Whatever you do, please do not attempt to carry out any repair or removal works yourself.

Only contractors who have the correct equipment and training should do the work.

If you don’t have any professional tests or a full management survey done to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos, then any materials are presumed to be asbestos and must be treated as such. 

Therefore, full asbestos safety precautions are to be taken when doing any work with presumed asbestos materials. 

This means getting either a licensed or a trained contractor to do the work for you.

An HSE licensed asbestos contractor may be required for certain high risk types of asbestos or when repair work is to be extensive.

For work with lower risk materials and smaller jobs, then a licensed contractor isn’t required, however, you should use a contractor who is appropriately trained to deal with asbestos.


Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their properties, carrying out an asbestos survey in their building so as not to put employees at risk.

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange asbestos testing or an asbestos survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/to book an asbestos awareness training course.

Published Jan 20, 2020
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