What Does An Asbestos Survey Involve?
Asbestos surveys are incredibly important as part of an asbestos management plan to assess risks and prevent harm to those who live or work in a building.
Types Of Asbestos Survey
There are three different types of asbestos surveys: management surveys, pre-demolition surveys and pre-refurbishment surveys.
This survey is ideal when trying to identify whether your premises contain asbestos and putting together a management plan. It does not consist of any damage to the building fabric, however, it takes into account routine maintenance.
During times of planned refurbishment works, specific intrusive inspection points to affected areas may also be included.
Pre-demolition surveys are required when demolition work is scheduled at a property. In contrast to management surveys, a fully intrusive inspection is needed to check for asbestos within the building fabric.
Pre-refurbishment surveys are used when a property has refurbishment work planned. Similar to pre-demolition surveys, this includes a fully intrusive inspection, but the nature of the planned refurbishment will dictate the scope of the work.
The Process Of An Asbestos Survey
At the start of an asbestos survey, there will be an initial walk-through where the site is risk assessed, plans are checked and any other issues that may halt the project are identified.
Throughout a survey, asbestos surveyors use their expertise to assess premises and locate any asbestos materials. This includes collecting a sample to be analysed in a lab and making sure there is asbestos content.
Depending on the findings of an initial assessment, air testing may be carried out as a further safety measure.
There are three main steps of an air testing procedure: reassurance air testing, background testing and personal air testing.
Reassurance air testing identifies whether there are airborne fibres in a location after a specific activity.
Background testing is undertaken before the asbestos inspection to pinpoint background levels of asbestos.
Personal air testing must be approved by a certified asbestos consultant who will determine whether or not the test is necessary based on work control measures and method risk assessments.
Air tests are very useful as they detect airborne asbestos articles by drawing in a known volume of air and measuring these particles over a period of time. Microscopy examination is conducted for any airborne particles that are generated in the filter.