Evaluation of the Duty to Manage Asbestos

Sinclair A, Tyers C, Hunt W, Oakley J, Pearmain D, Savage J, Bust P, Gibb A | Research Report 783 | Health and Safety Executive (HSE) | Aug 2011

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Exposure to asbestos is one of the major causes of occupationally related death from ill-health. To help protect workers from future exposure, the HSE has introduced an explicit Duty to Manage asbestos in non-domestic premises, by including this in the control of Asbestos Regulations (2002).

This research evaluates the impact of this duty so far. Specifically, the research aims to:

  • establish levels of compliance with the Duty
  • establish the extent to which compliance by dutyholders has brought about improved work practices among maintenance workers
  • re-assess the assumptions made in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) which accompanied the introduction of the Regulations about costs/benefits of the duty
  • identify/investigate factors influencing dutyholders' compliance with the Duty and examine any barriers to compliance
  • determine the proportion of non-domestic and domestic rented premises which contain asbestos and the rate at which this is being removed.

The findings are based on a survey of 1,000 dutyholders, a survey of 500 maintenance workers, face-to-face interviews with dutyholders and maintenance workers, and 20 site visits.