7th June, 2016
There are two key types of asbestos survey, the management asbestos survey, and the refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey. Both asbestos surveys, but with a difference.
So which one do you need?
Let's look at asbestos management surveys vs refurbishment and demolition surveys.
An asbestos survey is a survey to identify if any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are present within a building or structure. Asbestos surveys are a legal requirement.
An asbestos survey will identify the:
Most buildings built pre-2000 will need to have an asbestos management survey.
New buildings built after 2000 shouldn't need any type of asbestos survey as all types of asbestos were banned in construction by 2000.
Many building with public access, used as workplaces or tenanted properties will have a management survey in place (formally a type 2 survey). This is usually a visual inspection, noting the condition of asbestos containing materials, and any risk during normal occupancy.
These surveys allow those responsible to monitor asbestos containing materials. Providing materials remain in good condition they do not pose a threat during normal occupancy, as providing asbestos is not disturbed, it does not harm you.
It is worth mentioning here that private residential properties may also contain asbestos, but are not required to have an asbestos management survey in place.
So the management survey is for the (as the title suggests) management of asbestos. Mostly so that building users can be aware where asbestos is likely to be, and its condition can be monitored, and for example, if the materials are deteriorating, action can be taken.
What about the refurbishment and demolition survey?
Whenever construction work is being planned, a refurbishment and demolition survey should be carried out. This includes refurbishment, maintenance that will be disturbing existing building materials, demolition, extension and other construction activities.
Unlike the management survey, the refurbishment and demolition survey is a far more detailed survey. Samples will be taken to determine the type, location and extent of all asbestos materials, including those hidden within the building structure, for example behind other materials.
This intrusive survey will take samples and get them tested in a laboratory, so that contractors know what they will be dealing with and can take the precautions necessary.
A refurbishment and demolition survey is required on any type of building (other than new buildings post-2000), prior to construction or refurbishment work, or extensive maintenance work.
In these situations it is also important to remember that those construction workers involved in the project should have asbestos awareness training as a minimum, because asbestos containing materials are most likely to be disturbed during construction works. This provides an understanding of the risks, precautions and types of surveys needed.
Those working in asbestos removal would need additional training to remove asbestos.
Which ever survey you need, it is important that the surveyor you use is compenent and has sufficient training, qualifications, knowledge and experience to carry out the survey. Asbestos is a very dangerous materials once disturbed.
HSE strongly recommends the use of accredited or certificated surveyors for asbestos surveys.
The dutyholder should not appoint or instruct an independent surveyor to carry out a survey unless the surveyor is competent.
The surveyor you choose should have training and experience in all aspects of survey work, knowledge of asbestos products and an adequate quality management system.
Whether you require the management asbestos survey, or the refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey, your survey must be carried out in accordance with recommended guidance.