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. It 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. It’s the most common form of asbestos that is used within the construction industry. It’s usually 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 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’s 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 non-invasive and they are designed to ensure that ACMs are properly identified and managed. They also help to ensure their condition correctly monitored over time.

Components of a Management Survey:

  • Thorough Inspection: a comprehensive visual inspection of the premises’s accessible areas. This can include ceilings, areas above suspended ceilings, walls, floors and service ducts.
  • Sampling and Analysis: samples will be taken and an analysis will be conducted 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. This will outline how the 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. This will ensure they can be safely removed before the project can begin.

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 samples are taken to identify the type and condition of ACMs present. This will provide a detailed understanding of safe removal.
  • Preparation for Construction Work: the survey will allow for all ACMs to be identified and removed before any refurbishment or demolition work begins. This will prevent accidental disturbance during the construction process.
  • Notification to Relevant Parties: the survey findings will be communicated to all relevant parties. This will include 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. 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. It will also jeopardise the safety of individuals involved in construction work and potentially expose 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?