Which Asbestos Survey Do I Need?

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Which Asbestos Survey Do I Need? In this article we will try answer that question.

Asbestos, once lauded for its heat resistance, insulating abilities, tensile strength and usefulness, asbestos is now a shunned material due to its very high toxicity.

As a result of increasing cases of asbestos related illnesses in the UK, asbestos bans were introduced in 1985, and by 1999 asbestos was fully prohibited.

However, due its previous popularity in the construction industry, residential and commercial buildings built and renovated before 2000 are highly likely to contain asbestos, so it remains a lingering health threat. For this reason, asbestos surveys are highly recommended for all structures that fit this category.

So which Asbestos Survey Do I Need? There are different types of asbestos surveys: asbestos management surveys, asbestos refurbishment surveys and asbestos demolition surveys. The standard survey is an asbestos management survey.

It is both essential and effective, not only does it inform you whether asbestos is present or not, the survey  provides and details the type of asbestos found, the amount , the location  and condition of any asbestos containing materials, known as ACMs. If asbestos is present, this is the first critical step for asbestos management and /or asbestos removal.

Then there are asbestos refurbishment and asbestos demolition surveys. As their names imply, these types of survey are required when buildings are being refurbished or demolished. Thus all ACMs must be located, as much as practically possible. These surveys are more extensive than management surveys; they are fully intrusive and necessitates destructive inspection techniques.

Which asbestos survey

It should be noted that when deciding which asbestos survey do I need, that both surveys require qualified, trained and professional personnel. Not only due to the high risk of the work, but also the fact that any limitations on the asbestos survey, including limited inspections and methods, can greatly undermine the assessment. Information from all types of surveys will lead to an asbestos register, a risk assessment and a management plan.

Research, such as studies done by Professor Julian Peto and the Health and Safety Executive with Cancer Research UK, has illustrated the dangerous and fatal effects of exposure to asbestos. These include asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, every year at least 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK, a disease which is always fatal, while annually 4500 deaths are caused by asbestos related illnesses.  So although asbestos surveys are not legal requirements, it is imperative that every structure built or renovated before 2000 has an asbestos survey done.

If you need further help in deciding which asbestos survey you need, then contact us today!

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

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