If you discover asbestos in your business's building, and it's in a form that may threaten your staff or clientele, you need to implement a reaction plan quickly. There are important things you must do to safeguard health, but you also need to keep your business's reputation in mind. Here's what needs to happen:

1. Remove everyone from the area.

As soon as you discover the asbestos, remove everyone from the area. If inhaled, asbestos can be extremely dangerous and lead to health issues. Asbestos is found in all kinds of relatively old building supplies including roofing and insulation, and you can buy kits to test for its presence.

2. Consult an asbestos mitigation company.

Before doing anything else, you need to contact an asbestos mitigation company and figure out what is going to be involved in removing the asbestos. Once you understand the steps, you can start to develop a timeline and an announcement for your clients.

3. Contact clients.

Once you have a timeline for the asbestos removal, you need to contact your clients. Be honest about the presence of asbestos and underscore the risks so your clients realise the severity of the issue. However, do not dwell on the risks. Instead, project a confident tone that the issue is well in hand, and let your clients know about any changes to upcoming services or hours.

4. Set up in an alternative locale or plan to shut for a few days.

In some cases, you may need to move to a new location. For example, if the asbestos is friable, meaning it crumbles when dry and can be inhaled, you cannot conduct business in the area with that asbestos. However, if it is not friable, you may be able to continue some activities as long as it is contained.

For example, if you are a therapist, a lawyer or someone else who meets with clients on a regular basis, you may need to move your services to an alternative office while the mitigation process takes place. In other cases, if you own a restaurant or a retail shop and the asbestos is in a part of your building with lots of foot traffic, you may need to shut down for a few days.

5. Ensure compliance

As you are making your asbestos mitigation plan, make sure that you are compliant with any regulations related to your industry in particular. Most states and territories have their own set of laws governing what needs to happen, and most professional mitigators can help you with the process.