Asbestos Surveys Explained

Home | News & Insights | Asbestos Surveys Explained

There are several different kinds of asbestos surveys, from refurbishment and demolition to management and re-inspection surveys. The most appropriate survey type for you depends on the lifespan of your building and the purpose of the survey amongst other factors. 

What Does An Asbestos Survey Involve?

An asbestos survey involves a formal inspection of your property with the purpose of identifying whether or not asbestos containing materials are present, the type of asbestos and the condition they are in. The process by which this is done comprises of:

  • A sampling stage where expert surveyors collect any materials suspected to contain asbestos.
  • A testing stage where, as the name suggests, the samples collected are taken to an accredited laboratory in order to confirm or disprove any suspicions.
  • A final stage where a detailed management plan is developed in accordance with the findings of the previous stages. This can vary from having to perform an asbestos removal to leaving the asbestos undisturbed but monitored.  

The survey has to provide sufficient information for a risk assessment, asbestos register and management plan to be prepared. The asbestos register must be available to those who plan or initiate maintenance and related work, so it can be consulted before the work begins.

What Are The Different Types of Asbestos Surveys?

There are three main types of asbestos surveys that are required to be performed by property owners in different situations. 

Management Survey

As you must have guessed already, the purpose of this survey is to manage any asbestos materials that could be damaged or being disturbed by everyday activities. Management surveys are often referred to as the “standard survey” as it is the most common type of asbestos surveys performed.

A management survey which will be required during the normal occupation and use of the building to ensure continued management of the asbestos-containing materials in situ. 

A management survey aims to ensure that:

  • nobody is harmed by the continuing presence of asbestos-containing materials in the premises or equipment
  • that the asbestos-containing materials remain in good condition
  • that nobody disturbs it accidentally

The survey must locate asbestos-containing materials that could be

damaged or disturbed by normal activities, by foreseeable maintenance, or by installing new equipment, pipes or cabling for example.

Refurbishment/demolition survey

A refurbishment/demolition survey is necessary when the building (or part of it) is to be upgraded, refurbished or demolished. It aims to ensure that:

  • nobody will be harmed by work on asbestos-containing materials in the premises or equipment
  • such work will be done by the right contractor in the right way

The survey must locate and identify all asbestos-containing materials before any structural work begins at a stated location or on stated equipment at the premises. It involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance.

The area surveyed must be vacated during the survey and certified ‘fit for reoccupation’ before people use it again. Demolitions & Refurbishment Survey 

If you’re planning to perform construction work on your property, you’ll be required to have a refurbishment/demolition survey carried out prior to any work. This is to ensure that no one will be harmed during the construction process by disturbing the material and inhaling the hazardous fibres it releases. 

For this survey to be performed the area needs to be completely vacated and afterwards it needs to be certified “fit for reoccupation”, otherwise no refurbishments or demolitions can take place.

Posted in