An asbestos survey is a necessary and legally required procedure, particularly if a building was erected prior to the year 2000. Asbestos was widely used in the building industry because of its many beneficial properties. When asbestos was added to building materials it resulted in a stronger, more durable product. These materials then offered excellent resistance to heat, electricity, chemicals and water. Moreover, it was easily accessible. It is often found in asbestos cement, roof, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, fire doors, electrical cladding and toilet seats and cisterns. In fact, asbestos can be found in most materials used in the construction trade.
When asbestos ages, it becomes brittle. If it is damaged or disturbed, its microscopic fibres become airborne. The danger arises when these fibres are swallowed or inhaled. The fibres cannot be broken down by the body. Additionally, they are sharp and will pierce the lining of the lungs and soft tissue. This then causes incurable diseases and cancers such as Mesothelioma, Asbestos-related lung cancer, Asbestosis and Pleural thickening. Asbestos-related disease and cancer can take years to develop. Unfortunately, there is no cure. While the use of asbestos is now banned, it is still found in a very large number of buildings. Legislation requires that every non-domestic building owner or manager has the duty to manage. This is mandated in regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.This means that he or she needs to be aware of any asbestos-containing materials present in the building, where they are located and their condition. The best way to comply with legislation and ensure safety is by having an asbestos survey conducted for the building.
An asbestos survey is particularly essential if any work in the future is planned for the building. This includes renovations, refurbishment and demolition. There are two types of asbestos surveys available to building owners. These are the management survey and the refurb/demolition survey. The purpose of the management survey is to manage any asbestos-containing materials (ACM) during the normal use and occupation of the building. The survey must locate any ACM that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities as well as by future maintenance to the building and the installation of new equipment. The surveyor will provide a report on his findings along with comments on properties for any remedial work. The information will be used to compile an effective management plan and an asbestos register.
A refurbishment/demolition survey is more detailed and intensive than a management survey. It is essential if the building is due for demolition or extensive renovations. The survey will locate and identify all ACM. This type of survey involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance. Any suspected ACM will be removed, sampled and tested in an approved laboratory.
Any asbestos survey should be completed by an authorised and experienced asbestos surveyor. Asbestos Associated is an asbestos removal company. Our highly experienced and qualified surveyors are available to assist with both types of asbestos surveys. We work in accordance with the HSE regulations to ensure a comprehensive asbestos survey for any building.