Two-thirds of UK firms still have no plans in place to manage the risks
associated with asbestos in the workplace, insurance group Zurich Risk Services
Companies have until 21 May 2004 to comply with new duties contained in last
year’s Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations.
But Zurich’s research shows there has only been a 14 per cent increase in
awareness of the regulations, and a similar rise in the number of firms that
have put asbestos risk management plans in place in the past year.
Roger Cottell, managing director, said: "Our research shows that not
all companies are on track for getting asbestos management plans in place, and
awareness needs to increase dramatically if firms don’t want to be caught out
by the deadline date."
To comply with the new legislation, companies must find out whether their
building contains asbestos, and what condition that asbestos is in. They must
then assess the risk and make a plan to manage that risk.
In general, bigger companies had a better understanding of the new
regulations, and were more likely to have plans in place.
A total of 66 per cent of the respondents rated asbestos’ potential threat
to health as a major concern.