RICS Draft Guidance Note: Asbestos - legal requirements and best practice for property professionals and clients (4th edition)

RICS Asbestos 4th edition consultation draft

1.1 Purpose of this document

This UK guidance note is intended to assist RICS members and RICS regulated firms in the normal course of their duties, to ensure that they and their clients comply with UK legislation, and that no one is put at risk from asbestos.

It is not intended to assist RICS members and RICS regulated firms specifically in the undertaking of asbestos surveys. Guidance on such surveys is set out in the HSG264 Asbestos: The survey guide HSE publication.

While issued as a UK guidance note, this document contains material that may be of assistance to RICS members practising in other jurisdictions, including UK-employed staff sent to work in other countries. All organisations and individuals must comply with asbestos legislation applicable in the area in which they are working. The principles underlying the UK requirements arise from a costly national and international learning experience, and the RICS considers these principles (if not necessarily the exact details) to be good practice globally.

This guidance note summarises the principles for complying with the obligations contained in The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

Property professionals are legally required to recognise and accept their personal responsibility under the duty of care requirement of the Health and Safety at Work etc.Act 1974 to manage and control asbestos-related risks. They also have a general ethical duty to ensure that the advice they give is morally and legally sound.

Asbestos can impact on all stages of a building's life cycle. The diagram below indicates the impact it can have at each stage of the cycle, involving all types of property professionals.

asbestos-fig-1

 Figure 1: Property life cycle and asbestos

© Elliott Environmental Surveyors Ltd

Property professionals outside the UK will also need to consider the legal jurisdiction of the country in which they work. It is still legal to produce and use asbestos in many parts of the world; see appendix F for details.