To begin with we need an explanation of exactly what an asbestos survey is. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), describes an asbestos survey as an “effective way to help manage asbestos in your premises by providing accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos containing materials (ACMs)”.
Buildings in the UK that were constructed before the year 2000 can be presumed to possibly contain asbestos so it’s a good idea to have a survey carried out, particularly in commercial premises or in domestic premises that are due to be refurbished/remodelled in any way. An asbestos survey will identify the location of any asbestos (or ACMs), the type of asbestos involved and the condition of the asbestos.
In the UK, we have two different kinds of asbestos survey - a management survey and a refurbishment and demolition survey. The previous blog post concentrated on the Management Survey and you can view it on this website. However, it’s now time to look at the Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Survey in more detail so that you’re au fait with both and know which type of survey to choose depending on your premises and situation.
Asbestos Refurbishment And Demolition Surveys must be carried out prior to any demolition or refurbishment (remodelling) work being undertaken – before any work which will disturb the fabric of a building. The Survey is a means of locating and describing (identifying) as far as is reasonably practicable all the asbestos or ACMs in the area where the remodelling work is to be done or in the whole of the building if a demolition is planned. This type of survey will be fully intrusive by nature and will involve any necessary destructive inspection methods to ensure access to all areas which may contain ACMs, including places that are difficult to access. This type of survey is also appropriate and necessary when intrusive repair or maintenance work is planned or during plant removal or dismantling.
All ACMs must be removed (as far as is reasonably practicable) before any refurbishment or demolition takes place. This is a legal requirement according to Regulation 7 of Control of Asbestos REgulations 2012 (CAR 2012), the UK’s most recent legislation on this subject. The information gleaned during the survey will need to be used in the tendering process for the removal of ACMs from the building before remodelling or demolition occurs. Any designers or contractors bidding for this work will need a copy of the Survey Report so that the asbestos risks can be identified fully and the bid tendered accordingly.
The client arranging the survey will need to provide the surveyor with specific information, including:
- Details of building(s) or parts of buildings to be surveyed and survey type
- Details of building(s), usage, processes, hazards and priority areas
- Documents, plans, reports and surveys on the design, structure and construction of the building(s)
- Security and safety information to include fire alarm testing, special clothing areas (eg food production)
- Access arrangements and permits
- Contacts for operational health and safety issues