Asbestos Surveys

In most cases, the first step towards compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 is to identify any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) that may be present, recording the location, type and condition and assessing the risk of exposure. The best way to achieve this is by undertaking an Asbestos Management Survey in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive document HSG264.

PL Consulting can assist in determining the right type of survey to suit your individual requirements together with the assurance of the highest quality and efficiency.

The HSE guidance document HSG264 refers to two different types of asbestos surveys: Management Surveys and Refurbishment and demolition surveys.

The type of survey may vary during the lifespan of the premises and several may be needed over time. A management survey will be required during the normal occupation and use of the building to ensure continued management of the ACMs in situ. A refurbishment or demolition survey will be necessary when the building (or part of it) is to be upgraded, refurbished or demolished.

Management Surveys

A management survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.

The survey will usually involve sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of ACMs. However a management survey can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos.

Any areas not accessed during the survey must be presumed to contain asbestos and managed on this basis i.e. maintenance or other disturbance work should not be carried out in these areas until further checks are made.  All areas not accessed and presumed to contain ACMs will be included in the asbestos register for the premises.

Refurbishment and demolition surveys

A refurbishment and demolition survey is required by law before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. This type of survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A pre-refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, eg when more intrusive maintenance and repair work is required or for plant removal or dismantling. This type of survey does not normally assess the condition of the asbestos, other than to indicate areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present and should only be conducted in unoccupied/vacated areas of the premises.

There is a specific requirement in CAR 2012 (Regulation 7) for all ACMs to be removed as far as reasonably practicable before major refurbishment or final demolition. Removing ACMs is also appropriate in other smaller refurbishment situations which involve structural or layout changes to buildings.

Remember – an asbestos survey is only the beginning of your duty to manage asbestos.

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