Managing asbestos in social housing stock can be one of the most challenging areas within the industry. In this blog we attempt to highlight some of the main difficulties and outline our UKATA Duty to Manage course with a focus on social housing. 
'I've worked as an asbestos consultant for large hotel chains and oil refineries but I have to admit that managing asbestos in housing stock is more complex and challenging than any of these.'  
That is truly how I feel. But why? 
Well firstly, the sheer number of individual, unique sites. Few hotel chains, or other businesses for that matter have 10,000 plus sites, yet that is not uncommon for a social housing provider. 
The lack of control on each site. With a non domestic/ commercial property there is generally quite a lot of control with regard to the site. You can monitor who goes in and comes out, give them a site induction even leave an asbestos register on site. All of that is nigh on impossible in a residential property. 
That links to the difficulty in communicating the asbestos register. How do you ensure maintenance workers can easily check whether there is asbestos on site and where it is. And I don't just mean in-house staff, what about external contractors and those doing responsive emergency repairs at 3 a.m. This is something social housing providers have traditionally struggled with. 
That's just three of the complex issue faced by housing associations and local authorities. Add to that communicating with tenants on asbestos issues and undertaking refurbishment surveys in occupied properties and I'm sure we can all see the complexities involved in managing asbestos in social housing. 
The UKATA Duty to Manage syllabus describes the purpose of the course as 'an overview of the duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises as specified in CAR 2012' particularly focusing on regulation 4 of the CAR 2012. However, some housing associations and local councils also want training in the implications of regulation and guidance on their domestic properties in addition to their non-domestic properties. 
At IE-365, our trainers have considerable experience as consultants and auditors with regard to asbestos and housing. Our UKATA Duty to Manage course covers the syllabus but can also expand when required to help housing associations and local councils to deal with the complex issues facing them when it comes to asbestos. Some points, in addition to the UKATA syllabus, covered are:- 
Strategies for surveying domestic housing stock, including targeted refurbishment and demolition surveys 
Developing a management plan that encompasses domestic as well as non-domestic properties and how to avoid some of the pitfalls 
The effect of common law on the management of asbestos in housing stock 
Tenancy agreements, and more 
Many housing associations already have large asbestos surveying companies at work in their housing stock but have benefited from a totally independent provider handling this training. This allows those on the course to objectively examine how asbestos is being managed within their organisation and how best to move forward, especially as many are now reaching 100% of stock surveyed. 
Those who attend our course get a bound, comprehensive course booklet and a UKATA certificate. The course is full of interactive elements including white board animations and exercises. The courses tailored to social housing providers takes slightly longer than the standard UKATA Duty to Manage course but along with a morning session of UKATA asbestos awareness can easily be completed in one day during normal working hours. 
Prices start around £695 plus VAT which includes UKATA asbestos awareness, or if you’ve already had UKATA awareness within the last 6 months £495 plus VAT for the half day course. 
Finally, I’d be interested in your comments on some of the challenges you face in managing asbestos in social housing. Please feel free to enter them on the comments section here. 
Brett Millward 
Managing Director 
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On 19th November 2018 at 08:25, Chris H wrote:
Exactly, asbestos exposure is a major issue when it comes to exposure. Proper control and safety measures and certifications like UKATA should be taken.
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