There are various different types of asbestos surveys around, from asbestos management to asbestos residential and commercial surveys, and we at Core have put together this handy guide to help you decide which one would be best for what you need. Choose one as the best way of identifying the asbestos-related risks at a site, while allowing those who have responsibilities under the 2012 Control of Asbestos Regulations to meet them efficiently.
Without proof that a building doesn’t have this dangerous material, the presumption has to be that it does, which leads materials that don’t contain asbestos to be treated as if they do, potentially leading to needless expense and effort.
An asbestos inspection, which can only be done by a competent asbestos surveyor, is essentially a formal inspection of a site for any materials which may contain asbestos and an assessment of how safe such materials are. The surveyor collects small samples of materials thought to contain asbestos in order to do this.
The client then receives comprehensive information on how much asbestos is present, and where, and the condition these materials are in, allowing for an asbestos register, risk assessment and asbestos management plan to be put together.
Different Types of Asbestos Surveys
More than one kind of asbestos survey is available in today’s marketplace – here, we take a look at some of the options:
Demolition Asbestos Survey
As the name implies, this type of inspection is only done before a structure is to be completely demolished. It’s an intrusive, pretty destructive kind of survey which also involves asbestos disturbance. It is used to identify and remove all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in a building – or sometimes just part of one – before demolition can take place.
Areas inspected include those concealed within a structure, such as inside ceilings and walls, below carpets or other floor coverings, behind partitions and claddings, in lofts or floor voids and within structural supports.
This type of inspection should only be done when the building or relevant areas are empty. It’s also a good idea to clear furniture, along with everything else, while the survey is taking place.
After the inspection has been completed, a visual examination and asbestos air testing can be used to offer further reassurance that demolition engineers and others can work safely in the locations surveyed, which will be certified as ‘fit for reoccupation’.
You’ll need to supply site layout and building plans, specifications and architect’s drawings plus all similar documentation ahead of the survey.
Refurbishment Asbestos Survey
As the name suggests, this is done when a building, or part of one, is due for refurbishment, including structural changes, extensions, rewiring or replacing a heating system. It ensures the planned work can proceed safely while assessing whether any ACMs are present in the areas affected by the proposed refurbishment.
A refurbishment asbestos survey is more intrusive than the management survey described below, and the surveyors may need to break into the building structure’s fabric, for example through partitions and ceilings and behind window and door frames. Insulation and cladding may also need to be removed.
A refurbishment asbestos survey is completed broadly in the same way as a demolition inspection. Again, the building should be empty, with services such as electricity turned off.
Asbestos Management Survey
If it’s your duty to maintain any type of property, commercial or otherwise, an asbestos management survey is the standard kind of inspection needed to meet your legal responsibilities for managing asbestos, in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
No matter whether you have one or a hundred members of staff, it’s your responsibility to make sure they’re working in a safe environment and that there is no possibility of exposure to asbestos.
An asbestos management survey identifies and manages ACMs while a place is being occupied, and where normal occupancy, including routine maintenance, could disturb them. This kind of inspection aims to ensure no one is harmed by the presence of ACMs, and that these materials stay in a good condition, while, equally, making sure that no one can disturb them by accident.
There is only minor disruption and, as with a refurbishment or demolition survey, samples will need to be taken away for asbestos testing.
Residential Asbestos Survey
If you own your home, you’re not legally obliged to hold asbestos information. But you may wish to undertake an asbestos survey to understand whether there is asbestos in your property. Equally, if tradesmen are coming to work for you, you must protect them from potential exposure to asbestos fibres. So if that applies to you, a qualified surveyor should undertake a refurbishment asbestos survey before work starts.
In rental homes, the landlord is likely to have responsibility for communal areas such as hallways, but not the inside of the flat or house itself. Nonetheless, clearly no one should be letting out dangerous or unsafe accommodation.
Reinspection Asbestos Survey
For effective asbestos management, ACMs should be checked regularly to make sure their condition has not deteriorated or become dangerous. The condition of these materials will be recorded or reported along with any recommendations for further action.
How often these inspections are needed will depend on the type of asbestos, its location and vulnerability.
How We Can Help With Your Survey Needs
At well-established asbestos specialists Core Surveys, we offer all of these types of inspections to deliver swift, cost-effective results. We can also ensure your business conforms with all relevant asbestos rules and regulations. First of all, we’ll work closely with you to make sure we have a comprehensive understanding of what you need. Get in touch and learn more today.