Work environment: building maintenance

Safe management of the NHS Estate requires hazards such as RAAC and asbestos to be appropriately maintained


Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) is a lightweight pre-cast concrete material used in public buildings constructed between 1950 and the mid 1990s. When it decays, it may cause crumbling or collapse of the building’s infrastructure. NHS England has instructed trusts with sites at potential risk to have evaluation plans in place.


Asbestos in the workplace can remain in situ if it is contained

Government policy to date regarding asbestos is that it can remain in situ if it is contained.

The NHS Staff Council’s workplace health and safety standards detail criteria in Section M about what must be in place to ensure all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are identified and managed appropriately. Trusts with at-risk buildings should have an asbestos management plan in place to protect staff and visitors, as required under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. 

For further information, please read the Health and Safety Executive guide for workers on asbestos safety.

If you have an CSP accredited safety representative, let them know of any concerns you have about maintenance of asbestos and/or RAAC in your workplace. Your safety rep can:

  • contact the relevant managers tasked for containing these hazards
  • request a risk assessment should be reviewed or undertaken, and check that it is done by someone suitably qualified
  • seek advice and support from the CSP
  • contact the health and safety executive if the employer fails to act

Become a CSP safety rep

If there is no accredited safety rep in your workplace, consider taking on this important role yourself. Find out how to become a CSP safety rep.

Key questions to ask your employer

1. Is there any RAAC in our building?

  • Where is it and has it been assessed by a specialist structural engineer?
  • Has a risk assessment been completed, and can I please have a copy of it?

2. Is there any asbestos in our building?

  • Where is it and how is it safely managed?
  • Are there plans to have it removed?

3. Are there any other building safety issues I should know about?

Contact the CSP for further support on building maintenance if required. 

Last reviewed:

Also of interest


Become a safety rep