Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on Regulation 4 . Your questions, answered.
Q. I didn’t know anything about this regulation, where can I find out more information?
A. The best source of unbiased advice is the Health and Safety Executive. We can send you a booklet produced by the Health & Safety Executive or alternatively you can visit the web site of the Health & Safety Executive. www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos
Q. We only rent our premises, so is it still our responsibility to ensure this is done?
A. The legislation says that merely controlling access to non-domestic premises makes you a “duty holder”. So you are still responsible under the law. There can be more than one duty holder, and you may need to discuss your responsibilities with your landlord.
Q. I thought asbestos was not used any more, so does this really apply to my premises?
A. Unless you occupy buildings built after 1999 when asbestos was banned, you cannot be sure that your building does not contain it.
Q. Do we need professional help to assess our premises for asbestos or can we do it in-house?
A. You have a choice but if you do it in-house you need to demonstrate that you are competent at doing so. Asbestos is found in over 300 commonly-used construction materials of asbestos-containing products. Ceiling tiles, floor tiles, panels, textured paints, cement are all liable to contain asbestos. Professional organisations can help you identify it positively in all its guises, using laboratory analysis if necessary. They will provide you with a report that will help you create your register; they can advise you on condition and risk; they can suggest appropriate remedial action; they can help you with your management plan if needed.
Q. If asbestos is found in my premises does it need to be removed?
A. No not necessarily, it depends on the type of asbestos, its condition, its location, its extent, the occupancy of the area concerned etc. So the decision to remove, encapsulate or simply manage asbestos is based on a risk assessment best made by professionals.
Q. How can we trust that we will not be unnecessarily advised to remove asbestos and incur unnecessary costs?
A. You may wish to consider choosing an organisation (like us) to survey your premises which has no vested interest in the asbestos removal business.
Q. Do plans of my premises need to be available for a survey?
A. Ideally yes, but a professional surveying company will produce adequate sketches if required.
Q. Can surveys be carried out outside of normal business hours?
A. Most professional surveyors can work outside normal business hours if required.
Q. How much can I expect my company to have to pay for an asbestos survey?
A. There are 2 different types of surveys and of course business premises come in all sizes. A professional asbestos surveying company will provide a price quotation prior to starting the work. Your local contractor can advise you.
Q. What is the Government tax incentive?
A. As part of the governments urban regeneration scheme (under the Finance Act 2001), a 150% tax relief scheme has been introduced on land remediation which includes buildings. So now the costs of asbestos removal can be set against company profits as tax relief.
For example, if £50,000 is spent on removing asbestos, £75,000 can be deducted from the property owner’s taxable profits. It is also possible that part of our professional and survey fees and possibly, depending on the nature of the project, the reinstatement expenditure may also qualify.
Relief can be claimed on expenditure incurred from May 2001 but there are restrictions, including a requirement that those claiming relief were not the original polluters of the land. The claimant must also be a UK registered company.
The tax relief may improve the options when considering what actions to take when dealing with remediation of asbestos. The relief obviously should not determine the action taken, but any possibility of claiming it on replacement materials may change long-term objectives. The tax relief initiative is a major financial help for businesses. There are exclusions, so check with your accountant for specific advice.