Do I Need an Asbestos Survey in the Workplace?

Asbestos Survey in the WorkplaceYou may be wondering if you need an asbestos survey for your workplace. If you own a commercial building that was constructed prior to the year 2000, it will be necessary to have an asbestos survey conducted. The reason for this is that asbestos, despite being banned, is still present in many old buildings today. Widely used as an additive in the construction trade, it can be found in many parts of a building.

The use of asbestos as an additive to building materials was widespread. It offered many positive benefits, including strength and durability. However, it was discovered that exposure to the needle-like fibres of certain types of asbestos caused deadly disease.  As such, a total ban on the use of asbestos came into effect in 1999.

Where is asbestos found in the workplace?

As asbestos was considered an excellent material to add to construction materials, it can be found in many parts of a building. This includes your workplace. It was quite often used as a sprayed coating on ceilings and walls. A sprayed coating is most often found on the underside of the roof, as well as fire protection on steel and reinforced concrete beams.

Another area that asbestos is likely to be found in a workplace is in AIB ceiling tiles, partition boards, soffits and the panels below windows.

Asbestos added strength to building materials. It is also a good thermal insulator and increases and increases the energy efficiency of the building. Furthermore, it is also a fire and chemical retardant. It is no wonder that it was regarded as a ‘wonder’ material.

What to do if you suspect your building has asbestos-containing materials

Asbestos cannot be seen with the naked eye. However, it is highly likely that your workplace contains asbestos within its structure.

The next step is to speak to a professional asbestos company that offers surveys. A survey will identify any asbestos-containing materials in the building. Furthermore, the information gleaned from the asbestos survey is essential in helping prepare a comprehensive and authentic management plan.

Asbestos Survey Will any survey suffice?

There are different surveys available to suit the needs of the client and the use of the building.  The most popular asbestos survey is a management survey. This survey is essential for any old building, particularly if it was constructed before 2000.  There is also a more intensive survey. This is the refurb/demo survey and is mandatory prior to any renovation or demolition work to your building.

Types of surveys

  • Management survey: this survey assists with the management of asbestos. It is usually a visual inspection. As such, it notes the condition of the asbestos-containing materials, as well as any risk during normal occupancy. Normal occupancy also includes any scheduled maintenance work in the foreseeable future. This survey is required for normal occupancy of a commercial building. However, a domestic building with shared areas such as a foyer also needs a management survey.

    The management survey is the responsibility of the building owner, or manager. He is referred to as the duty holder. In addition, the information gathered during this survey assists with the preparation of a management plan, another requirement of the duty holder.

  • Refurb/demo survey: before any construction, refurbishment or demolition work can take place, this survey needs to be conducted. This survey does not record the condition of any asbestos-containing materials. It does, however, locate and identify any asbestos-containing materials.

    This survey involves destructive inspection as many parts of the structure of a building containing asbestos can be hidden from view. It also will disturb any asbestos. As such, the building must be vacated during the survey, and it will need to be certified as fit for reoccupation after the survey.

    The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (regulation 7) states that prior to demolition or refurbishment, the plan of work must specify that asbestos must be removed before any other works begin.

    Thus, it is essential that the right survey is carried out to ensure the safety of the occupants of the building.

Who can do the survey for my workplace?

As exposure to asbestos fibres is potentially lethal, it is essential that you use the services of a professional, qualified and authorised company providing asbestos surveys.

Choosing the right company to assist gives you peace of mind knowing that the survey is safe and thorough. It also means that you (and your workplace) will be legally compliant.

If you are searching for a professional company for an asbestos survey of your workplace, our professionals at ACS are available to assist.

We have many years of experience in asbestos-related concerns. As such, you can rely on a thorough and highly professional asbestos survey for your building. Furthermore, all our surveyors have the experience, training and knowledge to ensure that the survey ticks all the right boxes.  In addition, if your workplace has asbestos-containing materials that must be removed, let us help. As such, we can refer you to a professional asbestos removal company. We only work with companies that meet all requirements along with our approval.

Let us help you with the right asbestos survey for your workplace. Our prices are highly competitive and we’re happy to provide a quote for the asbestos survey.

When you need an asbestos survey for your workplace, trust our professionals at ACS. You are welcome to give us a call today and find out how we can assist you.