Responsibilities of Building Owners During Asbestos Removal

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Each jurisdiction may have unique regulations that stipulate the responsibilities of a building owner during the process of removing asbestos from a building that is about to be demolished. This article discusses some of the responsibilities that you may have as asbestos is removed from your old commercial building before it is demolished in order to pave way for the construction of a new building at the site.

Ensuring That Asbestos Registers/Reports Are Current

One of the responsibilities that you may have as asbestos is removed from the old building is for the relevance of the asbestos register used. Ensure that the asbestos register or inspection report that you give the abatement company was written within the timeframe stipulated in the laws of your area. This is important because an outdated report or register may not give accurate information about the current state of the asbestos within the building that you wish to demolish. Consequently, you may be held liable in case some asbestos remains and puts the health of demolition workers at risk.

Notification of Relevant Authorities

You may also be expected to notify the relevant agencies in your area before asbestos removal activities can begin. For instance, you may have to notify the health inspection department so that the site can be inspected and certified as being free from asbestos prior to the commencement of construction work. Some jurisdictions may require you to pay some fees before abatement work can start. Ensure that you meet all those notification requirements so that you avoid being held liable for flouting area regulations.

Proper Asbestos Removal and Disposal

It may also be your responsibility to ensure that the identified asbestos is removed and disposed of in a way that will not pose any danger to other people or the environment. For instance, you should ensure that the asbestos removal contractor that you select has a permit that allows him or her to perform such high-risk work. Such a certified contractor may be less likely to handle the asbestos in a way that will allow fibres from the site to become airborne during abatement activities. The chosen contractor should also be able to package the material well so that fragments do not break off during transportation to an approved disposal site.

As you can see, the entire asbestos removal process may be your responsibility as a building owner. It is therefore imperative for you to consult experts for advice about the specific steps that you should take in order to fulfill your responsibilities as the asbestos in your old commercial building is removed prior to the initiation of demolition work.