Zurich Risk Services has launched an asbestos management service with the world's biggest environmental risk management company.

The service was designed to help companies cope with impending change to the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations which are due to start in October.

The regulations will place a greater duty of care on employers, property owners and local authorities, who will be forced to demonstrate tthat they have risk management asbestos plans in place.

Zurich Risk Services and the National Britannia Group have developed a four-stage programme that complies with the legislation: a status audit; an initial survey by Zurich; a sampling survey; and training by National Britannia.

Zurich Risk Services managing director Roger Cottell said the service would also help employers and property owners cope with rising concerns over the long-term ramifications of asbestos-related claims.

"Management of the asbestos risk is the way forward," he said. "For example, where asbestos is located, it need not necessarily be removed, but can be managed in-situ.

"Each stage is designed to carefully assess and determine the level of risk posed by asbestos in each individual environment." National Britannia managing director Alex Sleeth said the partnership with Zurich was a "major opportunity " for his company that would allow them to "lead the drive "against the UK 's biggest occupational health killer.