Asbestos Surveys

Why and when would an asbestos survey be required?

Asbestos was used extensively during the 1950’s to the mid 1980’s. If your property was built during these times, you will require an asbestos survey if planned works are imminent or if there is any deterioration or damage.

If works are to be carried out it is essential that an asbestos survey be carried out to determine the quantity and component. Asbestos poses no known detrimental health effects if it is not damaged or disturbed. Fibres are easily dispersed if products are in poor condition and can cause many long term health problems.

The type of survey carried out is variable and dependent on its aim and purpose for which it is intended to be used. Asbestos surveys prior to demolition or major refurbishment are required by CAR and the CDM regulations and a Refurbishment/Demolition survey must be carried out.

Surveys are generally undertaken in compliance with the duty to manage asbestos. However, it is anticipated that most surveys will be undertaken initially to comply with the duty to manage asbestos in premises.

An asbestos survey has three main elements:

  • Firstly, it must be as far as reasonably practicable to locate and record the location, extent and product type of any presumed or known ACM’s
  • Secondly, it must inspect and record information in the accessibility, condition and surface treatment of any presumed or known ACM’s
  • Thirdly, it should determine and record the asbestos type, either by collecting representative samples

Types of Asbestos surveys carried out are Management & Refurbishment/Demolition.

Management: Standard sampling, identification and assessment survey

This is the most common type of survey. Representative samples are taken and are analysed at a UKAS accredited laboratory. If the material sampled is found to contain asbestos, other similar homogeneous materials used in the same way in the building can be strongly presumed to contain asbestos.

Less homogeneous materials will require adequate sampling numbers. An assessment of the ACM’s found are then documented in a full report which consists of actions and recommendations.

Refurbishment/Demolition: Full Access sampling and identification survey

This type of survey generally involves destructive inspection, in order to gain access to all areas including concealed areas. This survey is normally carried out in premises that are unoccupied prior to major refurbishment or demolition.

The survey is designed to be used as a basis for tendering the removal of ACM’s from the building. This type of survey does not assess the condition of asbestos, however a risk potential assessment is generally carried out and is used for tendering of removal works.

Opinions and recommendations based on priority assessment algorithms are outside the scope of our UKAS accreditation.

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