What are the legal issues around removing asbestos yourself?
Asbestos was used heavily in construction during the last century. Almost all the buildings constructed during the 20th century used building material containing a considerable amount of asbestos. During the late 20th century, it was discovered that Asbestos was a highly dangerous substance that posed immense hazards to the safety of the public, as a result, it was banned in many countries around the world such as the USA, Australia, the UK, etc.
As stated earlier, Asbestos is a hazardous substance and exposure to asbestos can be extremely harmful. Therefore, it must be handled by trained professionals. Upon finding asbestos on your property, you must abide by certain legal obligations. One of the most important steps to take upon finding potential Asbestos Containing Building Material on your building is to carry out an Asbestos Survey with the help of trained professionals. The survey confirms whether asbestos is present at the premises and how it could be managed or removed.
What to do as a building owner?
The legal framework of any country makes the owners of the property respond to ensure the safety of the people residing in that building in case of asbestos. The responsible individuals are legally obliged to put safety and precautionary measures for the residents or users of those buildings. The precautionary measures are in place to limit the public from going into suspicious premises and being exposed to asbestos. A secondary obligation that the legal framework of any country has for the owners of the asbestos affected building is to carry out an asbestos survey with the help of an Industrial Hygiene Firm. The survey confirms and locates the asbestos and provides information for management or removal of the substance.
What to do as a homeowner?
As a homeowner, the legal obligations are few or non-existent. Homeowners do not have any legal duty to care for asbestos. If the homeowners hike someone to work on their property, it is the responsibility of the worker to protect himself in case of asbestos. Homeowners are morally obliged to care for their own safety as well as the safety of their family members.
Carrying out an asbestos survey
As stated earlier, the first course of action that you must take as a building owner is to carry out an asbestos survey upon finding or disturbing asbestos on your property. Building owners are legally obliged to conduct the survey while homeowners are advised the same.
According to the legal obligations, the findings of the asbestos report must be shared and communicated to all who may be exposed to asbestos. The survey reveals the location and the condition of the asbestos, the information must be communicated to all necessary. It is not the responsibility of the building owner or the house owner to carry out the asbestos removal process.
Asbestos can also be safely managed on-site and kept away from the reach of the public. Asbestos that is damaged or disturbed is dangerous and exposure to such asbestos is hazardous. If the asbestos is not damaged and is in perfect condition, it is often managed on-site and monitored rather than carrying out the dangerous removal process. The building owners are obliged to make the asbestos management plan using the information gathered through the asbestos survey. The management plan provides the directions towards the management or removal of asbestos.
Remember to not try and remove the asbestos yourself unless you are a trained professional. Asbestos Fibers can cause long-term damage to the lungs if breathed in. Therefore, contact trained professionals and stay away from the substance yourself.