The foundation of safe asbestos management
Could my building contain asbestos?
Asbestos containing materials (ACMs) may be present in any building in the UK constructed pre-2000. Although asbestos use in construction is most commonly recognised in the 1960s and 70s, buildings constructed before or after these dates may have had asbestos containing materials added up until the final outright ban in 1999.
Who is responsible for managing asbestos in buildings?
If you own or have responsibility for a non-domestic property anywhere in the UK, built pre-2000, then you are required to manage any asbestos containing materials present.
For clarification and examples of what is classed as non-domestic, please refer to the Guidance for Regulation 4, found within L143: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l143.htm
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Regulation 4: The Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises, states that the responsibility for asbestos management lies with the Dutyholder.
- Am I a Dutyholder? http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/duty.htm
Furthermore, if you have property which was constructed pre-2000 and plan to undertake any refurbishment or demolition work, then you will require a refurbishment or demolition survey as required by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Why do I need an asbestos survey?
According to HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide, The purpose of an asbestos survey is:
- To help manage asbestos in your premises.
- To provide accurate information on the location, amount and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
- To assess the level of damage or deterioration in the ACMs and whether remedial action is required.
- To use the survey information to prepare a record of the location of any asbestos, commonly called an asbestos register, and an asbestos plan of the building(s).
- To help identify all the ACMs to be removed before refurbishment work or demolition.
The Control of Asbestos regulations require the Dutyholder to identify the location and condition of asbestos containing materials and to create a written asbestos management plan to ensure any potential risks are suitably managed.
The most effective way to do this is to commission an asbestos survey which will form the basis of your management plan.
Which type of asbestos survey do I need?
As outlined avove, asbestos surveys vary significantly in terms of size and complexity and purpose. Both access and visibility can be simple or complex. Moreover, the presence of asbestos can vary depending on the age, structure and design of the property.
More information on all survey types can be found by clicking on the links above or on the left navigation menu. We are also happy to answer any queries you may have via our asbestos survey quotation form.
The easiest way to decide on the type of survey you require is to consider why you are getting the survey done:
*Please note that even if no ACMs are found on an Asbestos Management Survey, this does not necessarily mean that a building is asbestos free. ACMs may be concealed within the building, and will only become apparent if a more intrusive survey is carried out; hence the requirement to carry out an Asbestos Refurbishment Survey before any work which will affect the building fabric (ceilings, walls, floors, roofs, windows, doors, structural materials, cladding, insulation, finishes), fixtures, fittings or decor.
**Examples of the type of work which would trigger the need for a refurbishment survey include replacing floor coverings; rewiring; upgrading fire doors; installing alarm systems; ceiling replacement; new windows; removal of internal walls; new heating systems.
If you are in any doubt as to the type of survey you require, just give us a call on 0845 873 7020 and ask to speak to someone in our asbestos team who will be happy to advise you. Alternatively you can complete our online asbestos survey quotation form.
Where can I find further information on asbestos surveys?
- Asbestos: The Survey Guide
- A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Asbestos is Buildings
- Managing Asbestos in Buildings: a Brief Guide
HSE strongly recommends the use of accredited or certificated surveyors for asbestos surveys.
Organisations can demonstrate that they are technically competent to undertake surveys for ACMs through accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020.
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body in the United Kingdom. Accreditation gives an assurance that an independent and authoritative body has assessed the technical competence of an organisation, including its underpinning management system. The scheme should ensure that the organisation can provide a valid service for the services specified on its schedule of accreditation.
Extracted from HSG 264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide