The Government introduced the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) in direct response to the current mortality rates associated with asbestos exposure and to fulfil its commitments under European Law. One of the key aspects of the legislation is to reduce the future exposure through the management of asbestos in domestic and non-domestic premises.
February 2010 saw the replacement of MDHS 100 Surveying, sampling and assessment of asbestos-containing materials with HSG 264.
There are now two types of asbestos surveys and our staff will advise on the type you need to meet your legal requirements and to establish a safe environment.
A management survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.
Management surveys will often involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties, i.e. it will depend on factors such as the type of building, the nature of construction, accessibility etc. A management survey should include an assessment of the condition of the various ACMs and their ability to release fibres into the air if they are disturbed in some way. This material assessment will give a good initial guide to the priority for managing ACMs, as it will identify the materials, which will most readily release airborne fibres if they are disturbed.
The survey will usually involve sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of ACMs. However a management survey can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos. A management survey can be completed using a combination of sampling ACMs and presuming ACMs or, indeed, just presuming.Any materials presumed to contain asbestos must also have their condition assessed (i.e. a material assessment).
A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling.
There is a specific requirement in CAR 2006 (regulation 7) for all ACMs to be removed as far as reasonably practicable before major refurbishment or final demolition. Removing ACMs is also appropriate in other smaller refurbishment situations, which involve structural or layout changes to buildings (e.g. removal of partitions, walls, units etc). Under CDM, the survey information should be used to help in the tendering process for removal of ACMs from the building before work starts. The survey report should be supplied by the client to designers and contractors who may be bidding for the work, so that the asbestos risks can be addressed. In this type of survey, where the asbestos is identified so that it can be removed (rather than to ‘manage’ it), the survey does not normally assess the condition of the asbestos, other than to indicate areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present. However, where the asbestos removal may not take place for some time, the ACMs’ condition will need to be assessed and the materials managed.
Refurbishment and demolition surveys are intended to locate all the asbestos in the building (or the relevant part), as far as reasonably practicable. It is a disruptive and fully intrusive survey, which may need to penetrate all parts of the building structure. Aggressive inspection techniques will be needed to lift carpets and tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors. In these situations, controls should be put in place to prevent the spread of debris, which may include asbestos. Refurbishment and demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to minimise risks to the public or employees on the premises. Ideally, the building should not be in service and all furnishings removed. For minor refurbishment, this would only apply to the room involved or even part of the room where the work is small and the room large. Bulk Sampling A bulk sampling survey can be undertaken in circumstances where a full management survey is not required, to confirm or refute where possible asbestos containing materials are present.