What Is Asbestos Surveying?

Asbestos, once prized for its versatility, is now recognised as a hazardous material that demands careful management. Asbestos surveying is part of the management process and helps to identify asbestos containing materials and the risks associated with them. At Midlands Asbestos Solutions, we provide two types of asbestos surveys; Asbestos Management Survey and Asbestos Refurbishment / Demolition Survey.

In this blog, we explore each survey in more detail as well as the importance and purpose of asbestos surveys. Let’s jump right in.

What is the purpose of an Asbestos Survey?

As part of the UK’s commitment to occupational health and safety, asbestos surveys play a crucial role in identifying and managing the risks associated with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Both types of surveys are critical for compliance with UK asbestos regulations, particularly the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

An example of an asbestos-containing material is vinyl flooring. These materials may contain Chrysotile, also referred to as White Asbestos, and is the most common form of asbestos that was used within the construction industry. It is most often found in corrugated style roofing, soffits, Artex, flooring tiles and adhesives, and gaskets.

What are the two main Asbestos Surveys?

Let’s explore the key distinctions between two primary types of surveys – Management Surveys and Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys – and understand their significance in safeguarding lives and environments.

Asbestos Management Surveys

A Management Survey is the cornerstone of effective asbestos management within a property or premises. It is a systematic inspection to locate and assess the presence and condition of ACMs that could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy. These surveys are not invasive and are designed to ensure that ACMs are identified, properly managed, and their condition monitored over time.

Components of a Management Survey:

  • Thorough Inspection: A certified asbestos surveyor conducts a comprehensive visual inspection of the premises, including accessible areas such as ceilings, areas above suspended ceilings, walls, floors and service ducts.
  • Sampling and Analysis: Sampling will be carried out, and the collected samples are analysed to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos.
  • Risk Assessment: A material and priority risk assessment is conducted to determine the potential for disturbance or damage to ACMs and the associated risks.
  • Management Plan: The survey results contribute to the development of an asbestos management plan, outlining how identified ACMs will be managed or removed.

Asbestos Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys

Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys are more extensive and intrusive compared to Management Surveys. They are required when a building or part of it is to be refurbished, renovated, or demolished. The objective is to locate and identify all ACMs in the areas affected by the refurbishment or demolition work, ensuring they can be safely removed before the commencement of the project.

Key Features of Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys:

  • Comprehensive Inspection: These surveys are more intrusive, involving destructive inspection methods to access hidden areas where ACMs may be present.
  • Full Sampling: Extensive sampling is carried out to identify the type and condition of ACMs present, providing a detailed understanding for safe removal.
  • Preparation for Construction Work: The survey ensures that all ACMs are identified and removed before any refurbishment or demolition work begins, preventing accidental disturbance during the construction process.
  • Notification to Relevant Parties: The survey findings are communicated to all relevant parties, including contractors and site workers, to ensure awareness and adherence to safety protocols.

What are the key differences between the two Asbestos Surveys?

The primary differences between Management Surveys and Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys lie in their purpose, level of intrusion, and the extent of sampling. Management Surveys are non-intrusive, focusing on regular monitoring and management of known ACMs, while Refurbishment/Demolition Surveys are more thorough, ensuring the safe removal of ACMs before any significant construction work begins.

Failure to conduct appropriate surveys can result in legal consequences, jeopardising the safety of individuals involved in construction work and potentially exposing them to asbestos-related health risks.

Contact us to arrange your Asbestos Survey

It’s clear to see asbestos surveys are essential tools for managing and mitigating the risks associated with asbestos exposure. Whether it’s a routine Management Survey to monitor existing ACMs, or a comprehensive Refurbishment/Demolition Survey to prepare for construction work, these surveys are vital steps in ensuring the safety of occupants, workers, and the wider community.

If you would like to arrange an asbestos survey with us, contact us today. Or why not get a free quote and see how we can help with your asbestos problem.