The Two Types of Asbestos Survey and When You Need Each
Asbestos surveys are required by law because of the high risk that asbestos materials present when they are disturbed. A building may require one of two types of asbestos surveys, or it may require both, it depends on the use of the building and possible work planned on it.
Asbestos Management Survey
This is the first and most routine type of asbestos survey, as the name suggests it is for the management of asbestos. This is so that the building user can be aware of where the asbestos is likely to be, and what condition it is in. This can, therefore, determine whether the asbestos is deteriorating and if action needs to be taken.
The asbestos management survey is usually only a visual inspection, pointing out the condition and any risk during normal occupancy. It concludes this with minimal sampling and only minor intrusive work. The asbestos surveyors may presume some materials are asbestos containing without taking samples and knowing for certain.
When do you Need a Asbestos Management Survey?
You should conduct asbestos management surveying during normal occupancy of a building. It is required on any non-domestic buildings or shared parts of domestic buildings built before 2000. Private properties built before this date may also contain asbestos, but there is no obligation to have an asbestos management survey in place.
Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Survey
During building work is when asbestos containing materials are most likely to be disturbed. Once the materials are disturbed the fibres are released and it is the fibres that can have a potentially fatal effect on your lungs. A refurbishment demolition survey is needed when there is construction work planned, this includes refurbishment, maintenance that will be disturbing existing building materials, demolition, extensions and a multitude of other construction activities.
Unlike the management survey, the refurbishment and demolition survey is far more detailed. This type of asbestos survey is fully intrusive, and the building will usually need to be vacated so that extensive samples can be taken. The samples are then tested at a lab so construction workers know what they are dealing with and are able to take the right precautions
When do you Need a Refurbishment and Demolition Survey?
You need refurbishment and demolition asbestos surveying conducted before any construction work is carried out. This must be completed on any building built before 2000, no matter what the use of the building is, residential or otherwise. The only exception is if you have proof that asbestos is not present or has previously been removed.
Whichever asbestos survey you need, you should ensure it is carried out by professionally trained asbestos surveyors who can operate in accordance with recommended health and safety guidance.