You’ve heard about the dangers of asbestos and the right steps to take to ensure the safety of the occupants of the building. In addition, you’ve likely heard that there are different types of asbestos surveys on offer. The question remains – how do you know if you need an asbestos survey?
The first step indicating whether or not you need an asbestos survey is the age of your building. As asbestos was widely used as an additive to building material, it is likely that your building has asbestos-containing materials. It has many excellent properties including heat and chemical resistance, strength, durability and more. This made it a great option for improving building materials.
However, it was discovered that as asbestos ages or is disturbed, it can release its microscopic fibres into the air. The unsuspecting workers in a building could inhale these fibres, not knowing that they were putting themselves at risk.
When was your building erected?
All buildings that were constructed before 2000 need an asbestos survey. Even though asbestos is banned, there are still a huge number of buildings that have asbestos-containing materials. During the height of asbestos use, it was used in more than 3 000 different products. These range from cement, insulation, mattresses to textured coatings.
If your building was constructed in the years leading up to 2000, it most likely contains asbestos in some form in its structure.
What are your plans for your building?
Another question that has to be asked is what your plans are for your building? If you are planning on using it as a place of employment such as an office block, factory or retail space, you will need an asbestos survey. In addition, if you are planning on refurbishing the building or even demolishing it, it still needs an asbestos survey.
When asbestos is damaged or disturbed it becomes friable. This means it can release its microscopic fibres into the air.
So why are my employees at risk?
Asbestos fibres are released into the air if they are disturbed or damaged. The fibres are microscopic, and cannot be seen by the naked eye. They are also very sharp.
When a person inhales these fibres, they can embed in the lining of the lungs. As they are strong and hard, they cannot be broken down by the body. And, as they are so sharp, they can penetrate the lung tissue. In addition, asbestos fibres are so small that they can be pulled further into the lung tissue with each breath a person takes.
Asbestos-related disease and cancers take years to develop. Symptoms can manifest many years after exposure. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asbestos-related disease. Over 5 000 people die from asbestos-related disease each year in the UK.
So, an asbestos survey is necessary!
Regardless of how old your building is, its condition and what your plans for it are, if it is an old building, it needs an asbestos survey.
An asbestos survey is not only a way to determine whether there are asbestos-containing materials in it, but it is also a legal requirement.
In order to stay both safe and compliant, it makes sense to have an asbestos survey. There are different asbestos surveys available. The type of asbestos survey that you’ll need depends on what you have in mind for your building.
If you are using is as a place of business or if you are planning on giving it a facelift, it still needs an asbestos survey. Asbestos fibres are released during both construction and ordinary maintenance work. These fibres are so small that no-one is aware that they are present.
Different types of asbestos surveys – which one is for me?
There are 2 types of asbestos surveys available. The first is a management survey. This is the more popular survey and is typically used when your building is used as a workplace.
The 2nd asbestos survey is called the refurb/demo survey and is a must if you are going to either renovate or demolish your building.
- this is typically a visual inspection
- notes the location of the asbestos-containing materials
- notes the condition of the asbestos-containing materials
- notes the risk of these during normal occupancy of the building
- provides necessary information for the management plan
- fully intrusive asbestos survey
- involves destructive inspection
- necessary prior to any building, renovation and refurbishment work
- necessary prior to demolition
- does not assess the condition of the asbestos-containing materials
- notes areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris can be found
The professional who is assisting with your asbestos-related concerns will advise you on the best type of asbestos survey for your particular building.
Who can assist me if I need an asbestos survey?
Asbestos is a serious business. As such, it is essential that you use the services of a professional company for any asbestos-related concerns you may have.
A professional company has a team of surveyors who have the necessary qualifications, experience and skill for dealing with asbestos and asbestos surveys.
If you need assistance with more information regarding why and how you need an asbestos survey for your building, our experts are available to assist.
As such, we have many years of experience in dealing with asbestos and asbestos-related concerns. Our expert team of surveyors can provide the asbestos survey that is required for your building. Furthermore, the information that is gathered during the asbestos survey will be used to create a thorough and easy-to-understand management plan.
All the asbestos surveys that our experts complete are in accordance with and conform to the HSG264 industry standard as set out by the HSE. Let our team assist you with the right asbestos survey for your building. In addition, we can answer any of your questions regarding why you need an asbestos survey. You are welcome to give us a call today.