UK law places the legal responsibility upon all building owners and managers to identify and assess the asbestos status within their premises.
To confirm that status, the Duty Holder must undertake an asbestos survey. This will form only the starting point, and the first indicator for what must then happen. In line with the HSG 264: Asbestos the survey guide there are two possible surveys: the Demolition / Refurbishment Survey (previously referred to as a Type 3 survey) and the Management Survey (previously referred to as a Type 2 survey). We offer both types of asbestos survey here at Pillars, and will explain the differences between them, to help you decide which one you might require, in keeping with current UK regulations:
REFURBISHMENT / DEMOLITION SURVEY
This survey is designed for properties where large scale maintenance activities, major refurbishments or even demolition are intended.
This survey will locate, as far as possible, all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in the building. Samples from suspected ACMs are collected (in accordance with the Health and Safety compliant risk assessment and safe method of work, prepared for each site). These samples are then independently sent to a UKAS lab to be analysed to confirm if the materials do indeed contain asbestos.
This survey is undertaken via both visual and more intrusive inspection techniques. For instance, the Refurbishment / Demolition Survey require complete access to all areas of the site. These might include basements, service ducts and roof voids and if access is obstructed to those areas, force will be used to open them up. Alternatively, if it is impractical to do that, asbestos will be presumed to be present, until proven otherwise. As this invasive level of intrusion might displace fixtures and fittings within the building, it is recommended that the survey takes place whilst the building is empty.
Again, the purpose of the Management Survey is to locate any ACMs within a property that might be disturbed during the normal occupancy of the building. It will further then assess the condition of that material. However, in comparison with the more intrusive Refurbishment / Demolition Survey, intrusions will be more modest, such as accessing dry risers, or removing ceiling tiles. All areas are inspected where practically possible. If access is not accessible, we presume such areas contain asbestos, until sampled. If a material within the building is found to contain asbestos it will be assumed that visually similar materials in the building will also contain asbestos.
As the building is likely to remain occupied throughout the survey, samples will only be taken where possible, such as empty or unoccupied areas. All samples are taken in line with the Health and Safety compliant risk assessment and safe method of work.
The Management Survey is designed to assist the building Duty Holder in their legal obligation to create an Asbestos Management Plan; to firstly check for the presence of asbestos, and to both monitor and manage any asbestos found within their property. However, re-inspections should be arranged in accordance with the terms of that Management Plan, and certainly on a regular basis, in order to ensure the currency of that Management Plan. In addition, if building materials are damaged or dislodged in the interim, the building should also be re-inspected.
These, then, are the two forms of asbestos survey undertaken by Pillars Environmental Consultants. The best idea is to contact us for an initial discussion. That way, we will be able to direct you towards the survey which best suits you, and your particular set of circumstances.
All our asbestos surveying teams are extremely experienced, having achieved, after examination, the BOHS proficiency certificate in building surveys and bulk sampling for asbestos. Over the years they have also demonstrated, through practical assessment, they are thoroughly proficient in occupational hygiene. And they would very much like to assist you, so simply confirm a date; we will arrange the visit and conduct the survey.
Contracting Pillars Environmental Consultants will give you the necessary paperwork to meet all your legal requirements when it comes to asbestos. As an initial survey can cost as little as a few hundred pounds, it’s certainly money well spent, for the peace of mind it returns.