Do I need an asbestos survey?

If you own or are in charge of a property built before the year 2000, it may have asbestos containing materials (ACMs) within the structure. It wasn’t until August 1999 that asbestos became a prohibited substance in the UK. This is why it’s imperative that extra care is taken when carrying out building work on premises built prior to this time.

To comply with the ‘Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012’, you have to make sure that the correct asbestos survey is carried out to identify and manage the risk of any ACMs that are present. The main types of asbestos survey are as follows:

  • Asbestos Management Survey
  • Asbestos Refurbishment Survey
  • Re-Inspections
  • Soil Surveys
Natural Asbestos fibres

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These surveys are designed to locate and detail the extent and condition of any ACMs within a pre-2000 building or a brownfield development site. They will also outline any remedial actions such as asbestos removal or any surface treatment required.

As a rule, asbestos management surveys, re-inspections and soil surveys are all fairly non-intrusive. In particular asbestos management surveys are designed to cover all accessible parts of a building and can be carried out around normal day-to-day use, including maintenance and repairs.

Asbestos refurbishment surveys and asbestos demolition surveys need to be conducted prior to any work being undertaken to alter fabric, fixtures, fittings, or any major structural changes including demolition. These inspections are more intrusive and often include things like breaking through walls to access behind cladding, uprooting floor coverings etc.

How often do I need an asbestos survey?

How often you need an asbestos survey will depend on a variety of different things. If you’re the owner or duty-holder for a building and ACMs are found (usually through an asbestos survey), it’s your responsibility to ensure a robust asbestos management plan is put in place.

As part of your asbestos management plan, you will need to schedule in regular re-inspections to make sure the condition of the asbestos isn’t worsening and your premises remain safe for staff, the general public and workmen.

You have to make sure you have an up-to-date refurbishment and demolition survey completed prior to all building works. You’ll need to provide the surveyor with details of the site layout, site plans, relevant photos, hazards and any previously completed asbestos surveys too.

Factory in need of an Asbestos Survey

Asbestos Surveys as part of your management plan

Asbestos surveys should be used as part of your overall asbestos management plan to help you manage risk and remain compliant with HSE legislation and guidance. A good asbestos management plan will contain the following information:

  • A central record or database containing all asbestos-related information.
  • Detailed reports about the locations and amounts of asbestos, along with a robust plan for safe working methods to avoid disturbing asbestos fibres.
  • How the ACMs will be managed and monitored, along with a full implementation strategy.
  • The timeframes that will need to be adhered to ensuring full compliance with the HSE and ‘The Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012’.
  • Roles and responsibilities of owners, management and duty holders.
  • Training needs and any training plan that needs to be implemented.
  •  Project management, a clear audit trail and accurate reporting for stakeholders, regulators and local authorities.

UKAS accredited asbestos consultants can help you put together the correct asbestos surveys for your exact needs and also help you develop an asbestos management plan that will maintain a safe environment for your building.

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