What is Asbestos
Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of tiny fibres. The use of building materials containing Asbestos was very common between the mid-1940s and late 1990s.
It is now banned in the UK, but buildings and properties constructed before the year 2000 may still contain Asbestos, especially in insulation, flooring, roofs, ceilings and walls.
Materials containing Asbestos are unlikely to pose any harm unless they become damaged. If the materials become damaged they may release Asbestos fibres into the air which can be breathed in. Long term exposure to Asbestos fibres can lead to lung disease, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.
What do SHG do
As a landlord SHG has a legal duty, under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, to ensure the effective and safe management of any Asbestos within its buildings in order to protect employees, contractors, customers and members of the public:
- SHG carry out Asbestos surveys to all communal areas (halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces, circulation areas, bin stores, boiler rooms etc). Any items of Asbestos found are inspected on a regular basis to ensure they remain in good condition.
- Any items of Asbestos found to be in poor condition will be appropriately repaired or removed in a controlled manner.
- All Asbestos removal works are carried out by qualified contractors under controlled condition ensuring there is no risk posed to customers.
- By April 2021 SHG endeavour to have conducted an Asbestos management survey to each of its 11,000 plus properties.
- Staff and contractors are Asbestos Awareness trained so that they are able to identify any potential Asbestos materials and assess its condition.
- Before any major refurbishment works are carried out (e.g. roof, kitchen & bathroom replacement) any extensive Asbestos survey is carried out to ensure items are not disturbed during the works. This may result in removal of Asbestos before refurbishment commences.
What can you do to keep safe
You may have Asbestos containing materials in your home. They are unlikely to pose any harm unless they become damaged, but extra care should be taken when doing DIY. If you plan to undertake any alterations or significant refurbishment to your property then you must seek permission so that SHG can determine if the presence of asbestos will affect the proposed work.
DO NOT drill, cut, scrape or sand materials if you suspect they may contain Asbestos. Bear in mind Asbestos can be found in textured paints, floor tiles, boarding and many other materials. If you are unsure, please ask us for advice on the number below.
DO provide access to your property to allow us to carry out an Asbestos survey
For information regarding any known items of Asbestos in your home or to request a survey of your property contact the SHG Customer Safety Team on 0161 218 1944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also download the Asbestos in the home leaflet.
Asbestos Surveys to domestic properties
We are currently working on completing an Asbestos survey to all our properties built before the year 2000 so we can know where all the Asbestos is across our stock. This will enable us to manage the Asbestos in customers’ homes much more effectively.
If you have not already had an Asbestos survey conducted in your property, or you are unsure, please contact the SHG Customer Safety Team on 0161 218 1944.
Once you have made an appointment please do ensure you are in at the required time and date so the survey can be completed.
Preparing for the Asbestos survey
To allow the survey to be carried out swiftly and with minimum disruption, in preparation please ensure:
- That there will be someone over the age of 18 in the property.
- That there is clear access to all rooms in the property, including loft, cupboards and external areas (such as sheds, garages and bin stores if you have them).
- That if you have a dog, please ensure it is secured in a room or outside.
- That you have sufficient time to allow the survey to be carried it. It should take between 45 minutes and an hour and a half.
During the Asbestos survey
Upon arrival, the surveyor will present an ID badge to confirm who they are and that they work for AEC, our contracted Asbestos Consultants.
In line with current government guidance on the Coronavirus outbreak, the surveyors will wear appropriate face coverings and gloves and will sanitise all surfaces that they touch. They will maintain social distancing throughout the survey and may ask you to vacate a room for a short while to allow them to safely complete their inspections.
If samples of any suspect materials are required, these will be taken in a discreet location and the area sealed afterwards. These samples will then be returned to a laboratory for analysis as it is not possible to tell Asbestos-containing materials by the naked eye.
Further information on the measures put in place to allow for Asbestos surveys to be conducted in a Covid-secure manner is available here.