Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once commonly used in building materials due to its heat-resistant properties. However, exposure to asbestos particles can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Because of these dangers, asbestos surveys are crucial in identifying and managing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of asbestos survey and how they can help to protect you and others from the harmful effects of asbestos.
What is an asbestos survey?
An asbestos survey is a thorough inspection of a building to identify any asbestos-containing materials. The survey is carried out by a trained professional who will take samples of any suspected ACMs and send them to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the survey will determine the presence, location, type, and condition of any ACMs in the building.
Why are asbestos surveys important?
Asbestos surveys are important for several reasons. Firstly, they help to protect the health and safety of people who live or work in a building. If there are ACMs present, then appropriate measures can be taken to manage them and prevent exposure to asbestos fibers. Secondly, surveys are a legal requirement for anyone who owns or manages non-domestic buildings. Failure to carry out a survey can result in fines or even imprisonment. Lastly, if you are planning to carry out any building work or renovations, then an asbestos survey is essential to identify the risk of any disturbance or damage to ACMs.
Different types of asbestos surveys
There are two main types of asbestos surveys: management surveys and refurbishment/demolition surveys. Management surveys are carried out to locate ACMs that pose a risk to occupants of a building during normal occupation and use. Refurbishment/demolition surveys are more intrusive and are necessary before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. They identify all ACMs in the building and assess their condition and the likelihood of them being disturbed during the works.
What happens after an asbestos survey?
After an asbestos survey, a report will be produced which outlines the results of the survey, the location and condition of any ACMs, and recommendations for managing and removing them. If ACMs are found, then a management plan should be put in place to monitor and manage them. If refurbishment or demolition works are planned, then a removal plan must be put in place before work begins. It is important to follow the recommendations in the survey report to ensure that any ACMs are managed or removed safely and effectively.
Who can carry out an asbestos survey?
Asbestos surveys must be carried out by trained and competent professionals who hold the necessary qualifications and experience. They should hold a UKAS accredited certification for asbestos surveying or have equivalent training and experience. It is important to check the credentials of any surveyor you engage to ensure that they are qualified and experienced in asbestos surveys.
In conclusion, asbestos surveys are an essential part of managing and controlling asbestos in buildings. They help to protect the health and safety of people who live or work in a building, meet legal requirements, and ensure that any building works are carried out safely. It is important to engage a trained and competent professional to carry out an asbestos survey and to follow the recommendations in the survey report to manage or remove any identified ACMs. By doing so, we can help to prevent exposure to asbestos and protect ourselves and others from the serious health risks associated with it.