Asbestos Reinspections

In this blog we will look at asbestos reinspections and how they differ from a survey. Usually, reinspections follow on from some sort of survey – you should have an existing asbestos register from a management survey or a refurbishment survey. Your existing asbestos information – outlining where the asbestos is and what condition it is in – is reinspected. It is a visual check.

You examine the material and compare it to the data you already have on it to ascertain where there has been any deterioration and whether there are any cracks or water leaks or anything that could affect that material in its location.

What paperwork is involved with an asbestos reinspection?

As part of the process, you will update your Material Risk Assessment which looks at how easily the asbestos material in question would release asbestos fibres if it was to be damaged. It also looks at the type of asbestos product, its condition, whether it is sealed or unsealed and takes into account what asbestos fibre has been identified in that material.

It is important to update the information which will follow in with your priority risk assessment and overall risk on how you manage that material.

Why does asbestos need to be reinspected?

Asbestos needs to be reinspected because it can change over time. Weather can lead to paint flaking off damaging the material. If the material has changed the risk assessment connected to it will also need to change in light of this. For example, it may go from a medium risk into a higher risk category. Alternatively, if the use of the area where the asbestos is has reduced it may move from a high or medium risk to a low risk.

How often should you have an asbestos reinspection?

The golden question is how often should reinspections be undertaken? From an industry standpoint, it has always been touted 12 months. Previous guidance documents stated reinspections should be done annually, however, when the new practice was bought out in 2012, it said: “Any identified or suspected ACM must be inspected and its condition assessed periodically.” However, if you are unsure 12 months is a good place to start as a minimum.

Bear in mind there will also be events or situations that take place that might make you rethink this. For example, maintenance works should trigger a review of the plan. Likewise, if you’ve got asbestos materials in high volume, high traffic, high occupancy areas, it would be sensible to increase the frequency of reinspections.

It all comes down to risk. For example, if you’ve got an asbestos material in a school corridor, maybe a panel on the fire door, re-inspecting just once a year is not practical. This would fall into a high risk category because of the occupancy, so you are probably looking at daily, or at least weekly, inspections of the material with proper reinspections every three to six months. On the other hand, if you have the same type of panel on the back of a door in an office corridor, the likelihood of that getting disturbed would be smaller because adults do not generally kick doors open. As a result, the reinspections would not need to be as frequent.

Asbestos reinspection

Who should carry out an asbestos reinspection?

Reinspections should be carried out by someone who is competent, knowledgeable and who has training, qualifications and experience.

There are no set qualifications, the closest one is a surveyor’s qualification but you do not have to go through that as you are not exactly surveying, you are looking at the material that has already been identified. You do need someone who has experience of asbestos and know what it is and what it looks like. They need to know what the materials look like when they change, when they start to peel and when there’s damage.

You can be trained to do a reinspection without having a formal qualification. For example, one of our asbestos consultants could come to your site and give one-to-one training to your property manager or caretaker so they understand what asbestos there is on site and what risks to look out for. You may want to do a reinspection with an asbestos consultant a couple of times to help you gain the experience. Alternatively, you may want to have your re-inspection audited by an asbestos consultant to ensure you are gaining the relevant experience and doing it right.

Once the reinspection is carried out you must ensure all your information is updated. On a reinspection, we take photos and update the report.

Who is liable for the work?

If you do the works yourself, or employ someone outside of the industry, you become the competent person and you take on liability for the works. If you hire a professional to give you that advice and provide you with that information, you have got their competence to rely on.

Insurance companies always remove asbestos from policies because when asbestos goes wrong, it costs a lot of money. Only asbestos specialists have it because that is what they do for a living.

Schools are a particular risk in relation to asbestos. Lots of schools rely on their site managers or caretakers to do inspections and they haven’t got asbestos knowledge in line with a competent asbestos surveyor or consultant. Consider the liability on the school if they get that wrong? You could potentially have thousands of children exposed to asbestos.

In summary

Asbestos reinspections are not expensive and take the liability away from you. Remember, the reinspection should be risk assessment based. Do not rely on the fact that industry says to do it annually – use this as a benchmark.

We’re a professional asbestos consultancy helping businesses deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos testing, and asbestos removal. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or email [email protected]

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spend purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

WP 6556 Original 39589 Medium e1601897882134

Asbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

In this blog, we’ll examine asbestos spray coatings and some of the problems you can face when it is being removed. Asbestos spray coatings were phased out in the mid-1970s, so it’s old now and deteriorating. They have a very high asbestos content. It was mixed with Portland cement binder, to stick asbestos fibres together. …

Read MoreAsbestos spray coatings and problems with its removal

Licences blog pic sml

How do you get the right asbestos contractor?

It is so important that you get competent asbestos contractors to carry out asbestos removal works. Asbestos Contractors fall into two categories: non-licensed and licensed. Licensed contractors receive a licence from the HSE to work with licensable asbestos materials. You need a licence if you are going to work on the higher risk materials such …

Read MoreHow do you get the right asbestos contractor?

Acorn School Site 47 e1601897304536

Asbestos Reinspections

In this blog we will look at asbestos reinspections and how they differ from a survey. Usually, reinspections follow on from some sort of survey – you should have an existing asbestos register from a management survey or a refurbishment survey. Your existing asbestos information – outlining where the asbestos is and what condition it …

Read MoreAsbestos Reinspections

work 731198 1920

What you need to know about asbestos databases

Asbestos databases are sometimes called portals and are an electronic place where your asbestos information and Health & Safety information is held and stored on an online system. Lots of things are going into the Cloud and that is why we have moved in that direction. In the past, Asbestos survey reports were on paper …

Read MoreWhat you need to know about asbestos databases

Blog 4 - house Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res-96

Common asbestos materials in domestic properties

When people think about asbestos, they often associate it with larger buildings such as warehouses, schools, hospitals and factories. Often, people do not think about asbestos when it comes to homes, but asbestos was heavily used in parts of the domestic market and used on large scales within local authority homes. In this blog, we …

Read MoreCommon asbestos materials in domestic properties

hot conditions

Working with asbestos in hot conditions

You don’t normally think of the combination of asbestos and heat as a concern. Asbestos is resistant to heat – that is one of the reasons it was used in building projects. However, in this blog, we are not talking about the use of asbestos, we are talking about asbestos removal projects and how heat …

Read MoreWorking with asbestos in hot conditions

listed building

Asbestos and Listed Buildings

Buildings of historic importance, that were constructed centuries ago, were not built with asbestos. Whether you’re talking about castles or smaller old listed properties they were built before we started using asbestos in construction. What we will consider in this blog is what may have happened to those buildings after their original construction. In short, …

Read MoreAsbestos and Listed Buildings

Asbestos disposal

Asbestos disposal – New and exciting methods

In this blog, we are talking about some exciting developments with regards to the disposal of asbestos. We recently went to a conference in Birmingham which was attended by lots of people from our industry. Delegates shared new techniques, best practice and innovations and there were a lot of interesting seminars. One of the seminars, …

Read MoreAsbestos disposal – New and exciting methods

Label asbestos

Do you need to label asbestos?

As an experienced multi-disciplined asbestos consultancy we are regularly asked by clients if they need to label their asbestos. There is a misconception that asbestos has to be labelled but this is not the case. You don’t actually have to label asbestos but you do have to manage it. In my mind, it is good …

Read MoreDo you need to label asbestos?

PVA asbestos

PVA as an encapsulant

In this blog we are talking about PVA as an encapsulant of asbestos. PVA stands for Polyvinyl Acetate and is a glue-like substance, best known as a wood glue, white glue or school glue. It is a safe glue and doesn’t burn your skin. It is easily washable and is water based. It used to …

Read MorePVA as an encapsulant