What types of asbestos survey do we offer?
The person in charge of the building, or their appointed ‘duty-holder’ needs to be aware of the type of asbestos survey that will be required, but Allium Environmental are able to assist in making a recommendation. However, the main types of asbestos surveys are as follows.
Management Survey and Plan
In compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Reg 4 the Duty to Manage, it is the responsibility of all duty holders to determine if their building/s contains asbestos and, if so, it is their duty under the regulations to safely manage all ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials). A Management Survey will determine the presence of asbestos in all readily accessible areas, including those affected by routine maintenance, and allow the duty holder to compile an asbestos Management Plan to effectively monitor and safely manage it.
It is important to note that a Management Survey does not constitute a Management Plan, these are two separate documents with the Management Survey being a one off survey, accurate at the time of the survey and a Management Plan being a ‘live’, updatable document evolving in line with any additional or updated surveys during the lifetime of the building. Allium Environmental can advise on the production of a Management Plan or indeed compile this document for clients following liaison with the duty holder, at additional cost.
The Management Survey will not intrusively access the fabric of the building or inspect within areas where damage will be caused.
Re-inspection or Condition Survey
As a part of effectively managing asbestos within a building, ACMs should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure they have not deteriorated and become more hazardous. The condition of the ACMs should be recorded and reported along with any recommendations and any action required. The frequency of the re-inspections will be dependent upon the asbestos type, location and vulnerability and should be specified within the Management Plan.
Any changes to ACM’s identified and recorded during a re-inspection survey should be updated within the Management Plan.
A Refurbishment Survey becomes necessary when the building or part of the building is due for refurbishment. This could mean rewiring, replacing the heating system, building an extension or carrying out any structural changes. This type of survey is more intrusive than a Management Survey and every effort will be made to discover if any ACMs exist within the area(s) being affected by the planned refurbishment works. This may require the surveyors breaking into the fabric of the building structure, including through partitions, within boxing’s, behind door and window frames, through fixed and false ceilings, removing insulation and surface cladding, and accessing original floor coverings and within voids (this list is not exhaustive).
The area(s) to be surveyed should be unoccupied, empty (ideally including removal of all furniture, fixtures and fittings etc.) with all services switched off and certificates of isolation provided, where this is not possible ‘inaccessible’ items/areas may be reported (such as within live electrical switch gear, plant and services).
A Demolition Survey is undertaken to a building or a part of a building prior to its demolition. This is a fully intrusive inspection in order to identify all potential ACM’s present within the fabric of the building. The area(s) to be surveyed should be unoccupied, empty (ideally including removal of all furniture, fixtures and fittings etc.) with all services switched off and certificates of isolation provided, where this is not possible ‘inaccessible’ items/areas may be reported (such as within live electrical switch gear, plant and services).
As significant damage will be caused to gain access to all areas where potential ACM’s are present the area(s) will not usually be reoccupiable following the Demolition Survey. The area(s) surveyed will be left in a safe condition (i.e. lifted floorboards will be replaced back down etc), to enable contractors to follow on, and opened up materials (e.g. suspended ceiling tiles, boxing surface materials etc.) will be placed to the side of the area(s) surveyed so as to not cause an obstruction or hazard, however no building material waste created during the survey will be removed from the site.
Unless specifically requested the Demolition Survey will not include accessing below ground, underneath any concrete slabs or foundations.
Why is an Asbestos Survey required?
The main purpose of an asbestos survey is to make a good assessment of Asbestos Containing Materials, or ACM as they are otherwise known. Once an ACM has been found, it is a requirement to record what it is, where it is located in the property, and how much there is.
Once the above has been discovered, it is necessary to record how easy it is to get to, what condition it is in and has it been previously covered by any containment treatments, such as paint etc.
Identifying the type of asbestos in the ACM comes down to the experience of the surveyor, but no assumptions are made, so if our asbestos surveyors are ever in doubt, they take a sample and bring it back to our laboratory for testing.