What is the law concerning asbestos in domestic properties?

The general duties in Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) apply to protect householders from any risks from work activities being carried out in their homes. Where work being done involves asbestos-containing materials then the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 will also apply, in particular:

  • regulation 11 (Prevention or reduction of exposure to asbestos)
  • regulation 15 (Arrangements to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies)
  • regulation 16 (Duty to prevent or reduce the spread of asbestos

In owner-occupied domestic properties, the owners are not legally responsible for risks to contractors from asbestos, as the owners themselves are not engaged in any work activity.

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