What Should an Asbestos Survey Include?

Asbestos is still found in many buildings today, even though its use is banned. The reason for this is that asbestos was widely used for a large number of construction purposes. Both new buildings and renovation work included the use of asbestos until its complete ban in 1999. Asbestos provided many attractive benefits such as strength, insulation and chemical and heat resistance.

Asbestos, when it is in a good condition, and is not likely to be disturbed, doesn’t pose a risk. However, it is when some types of asbestos materials are disturbed, damaged or in a poor condition, they could release their fibres into the air. Thus, when these fibres are inhaled by persons in the vicinity that it could cause asbestos-related diseases and cancer later in life.

The first step

The person who manages or owns a building is called a duty holder. It is his legal responsibility to manage any asbestos within the building. The best way to find out the extent and the condition of any asbestos-containing materials is to have an asbestos survey conducted by a professional team.

An asbestos survey must provide enough information so that a risk assessment, asbestos register as well as a management plan can be prepared. The first step is to contact a professional company for an asbestos survey.

The surveyor will discuss the type of survey that is best suited for your building. Depending on what your plans for your building are, 1 of 2 different types of asbestos survey will be chosen.

There are different types of asbestos surveys available.  These include:

  • The management survey
  • The refurbishment/demo survey

An asbestos survey aims to determine the location of any asbestos-containing materials along with the condition thereof.

What is a management survey?

This is the standard type of asbestos survey avalable. A management survey is a survey that is needed during the normal occupation and use of a building. This is to ensure the continued management of any asbestos-containing materials that are in the building do not pose a risk to anyone who occupies the building. These include the employees of the company occupying the building as well as any occasional or regular maintenance staff.

The aim of the management survey is to locate any asbestos-containing materials that could be disturbed or damaged during normal occupancy or activities within the building. The normal type of activities or occupancy includes any maintenance or installation work planned for the future.

The purpose of a management survey is to ensure that:

  • Nobody in the building is harmed or affected by the presence of the asbestos-containing materials that are in the building
  • The asbestos-containing materials do not deteriorate
  • No-one disturbs the asbestos-containing materials by accident

The refurbishment/demolition survey

This particular survey is necessary when there are plans to upgrade, renovate or demolish a part, or the whole of the building. The aim of the refurb/demo survey is to ensure:

  • Nobody is affected by any asbestos-containing materials during the work
  • The work is completed by a qualified contractor and in the correct way

The survey will find and identify all asbestos-containing materials before any work begins. Destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance is involved in this survey. As a result, the premises must be vacated during the survey.

The refurb/demo survey takes more time to complete than the management survey. The time taken for the survey will also depend on the size of the building.

What does the survey report include?

The asbestos survey must be clear, unambiguous and easy to understand. It also needs to be readily accessible to those who need to use it.

The survey report should include the following:

  • the name of the surveyor
  • an executive summary of the survey
  • information regarding scope, the date and the main findings
  • overall recommendations and conclusions
  • further actions required
  • if analysis of samples were necessary, the name of the laboratory doing the analysis must be included

The recommendations of the surveyor should be limited, fully justifiable, agreed and documented in the report in a separate section.

The survey should be completed in a methodical and meticulous manner. It will investigate every accessible area of the building and ensures that no area is overlooked. The surveyor will detail any suspected asbestos materials on a plan and he will possibly take photographs to include in his report. It is likely that samples will be taken of suspected materials. These are subsequently sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis and determination of content.

Choose the right surveyor

It is best to choose a company that has a qualified team of surveyors for your building’s asbestos survey. The survey must be in accordance with the guidelines set out in the HSE survey guide HSG264.

Our expert team of surveyors can assist you with the right survey for your building. We have many years of experience, along with the necessary qualifications and credentials. Using our team for your building’s asbestos survey will result in a thorough, unambiguous report. You will have peace of mind that all the essential elements of the asbestos survey are included.

In addition, the information gathered during the survey, in particular, the management survey can be used to create a comprehensive management plan. Our experts are available to assist you with preparing your management plan.

A legal requirement for any building owner or duty holder, an asbestos survey is also essential to ensure the health and safety of those working within the building.

The right company will ensure that you receive the right survey for your building. It will be one that includes all the necessary elements and provides a comprehensive survey report.