Which Asbestos Survey Do I Need?

which asbestos survey

If you are the person responsible for managing the maintenance and repair of non-domestic premises, you have a legal duty to manage any asbestos in your building. The duty to manage asbestos is contained in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. You are likely to need an asbestos survey unless the building was built after 2000, but which asbestos survey do I need?

There are mainly three types of asbestos surveys, Management Survey, Refurbishment Survey and Demolition Survey. The Management Survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.

The Refurbishment Survey is required before any refurbishment work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place.

The Demolition Survey is required before any complete demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is fully intrusive and is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the whole building where it’s completed demolition is planned.

Which Asbestos Survey Determining the Appropriate Asbestos Survey for Your Premises

As someone responsible for the maintenance and repairs of non-residential property, you are legally bound to manage any asbestos present within the building. This obligation is outlined in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. To adhere to these regulations, you will likely need to conduct an asbestos survey, particularly if the building was constructed before the year 2000. Deciding “which asbestos survey” to choose is a crucial step in fulfilling these legal obligations.

In this regard, it is essential to note that there are three primary types of asbestos surveys that you can consider: the Management Survey, the Refurbishment Survey, and the Demolition Survey. Understanding “which asbestos survey” is most suited to your specific situation is a vital aspect in guaranteeing the safety of the building’s occupants and complying with legal standards.

Management Survey:

This is the standard survey typically conducted when the building is in regular use and there are no immediate plans for major renovations. It aims to identify, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspected Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) that might be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation tasks. It also evaluates the current condition of these materials, serving as a starting point in determining “which asbestos survey” to undertake.

Refurbishment Survey:

Before initiating any refurbishment activities, this type of survey becomes necessary. It is designed to locate and describe, to the extent possible, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work is planned. This survey helps in deciding “which asbestos survey” to employ to ensure a safe and compliant refurbishment process.

Demolition Survey:

This survey is required prior to any demolition activities. It seeks to identify and detail all ACMs throughout the entire building if a demolition is planned. Recognising “which asbestos survey” to choose before embarking on a significant demolition project is a critical step in protecting both the workers involved and the surrounding environment.

By determining “which asbestos survey” aligns with your circumstances, you can adeptly manage the potential risks associated with asbestos, thereby safeguarding the well-being of the building’s occupants and fulfilling legal requirements. Consulting with a professional is always advised to ascertain “which asbestos survey” is the most suitable for your specific scenario.

Asbestos Re-inspection Surveys

An asbestos re-inspection survey (technically not a survey, but an inspection of previously identified asbestos containing materials) is carried out to monitor and assess the condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) identified in previous surveys. The purpose of this survey is to ensure the ACMs are not deteriorating and to update the asbestos register.

This survey does not involve taking new samples. It is a visual inspection to check the condition of known ACMs. The surveyor will assess the risk and update the asbestos management plan accordingly.

Asbestos Sampling

Asbestos sampling is not a survey but is often a part of the asbestos survey process. It involves taking samples of suspected asbestos-containing materials to a laboratory for analysis. The purpose of asbestos sampling is to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos in materials.

While not a survey in itself, asbestos sampling frequently forms a crucial part of the process when determining “which asbestos survey” to undertake. This procedure entails collecting samples of materials suspected to contain asbestos and sending them to a laboratory for meticulous analysis. Here’s a deeper dive into the significance of asbestos sampling and how it integrates into the decision of “which asbestos survey” to select.

What to do if you suspect asbestos?

If you suspect that there is asbestos in your building, you should not try to handle it yourself. Asbestos is a hazardous material and can be harmful if not handled correctly. You should contact a professional asbestos surveyor to conduct a survey and assess the risk. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.

What to Do if You Think There’s Asbestos in Your Building

If you suspect asbestos may be present in your building, do not try to handle it yourself. Asbestos is extremely hazardous if not properly managed.

Follow these steps instead:

  1. Hire a professional UKAS accredited asbestos surveyor to inspect the building and identify any asbestos-containing materials. There are two main types of surveys: Management survey: Used to locate asbestos materials and assess their condition. Helps determine if removal is needed. Refurbishment survey or demolition survey: More thorough inspections before major refurbishment or demolition. Check if asbestos is present in all areas.
  2. Have the surveyor do a complete risk assessment on any asbestos found. This will determine what type of action needs to be taken.
  3. Follow the surveyor’s expert guidance on next steps. This may involve removal, encapsulation, enclosure, or just periodic monitoring if asbestos is in good condition.
  4. Never handle or disturb asbestos yourself. Always hire trained asbestos abatement professionals. Proper asbestos management protects your health and prevents exposure.

How to choose an asbestos surveyor?

Choosing a qualified asbestos surveyor is critical for properly identifying and managing any asbestos in your building.

Follow these tips when selecting a surveyor:

  • Verify accreditations, certifications and memberships. Make sure the asbestos surveyor and the company they are employed by have up-to-date asbestos accreditations, certifications and memberships. This should include ensuring their training certificates and internal audits are all up to date in line with the current ISO standards.
  • Check references and reviews. Ask for references from at least 3 recent clients. Contact them to ask about their experience and whether the surveyor provided quality service. Look for online reviews as well.
  • Inquire about insurance coverage. The asbestos surveyor should have Professional Indemnity Insurance, which covers asbestos surveyors in case they provide negligent advice or services that financially harm clients. It pays for legal costs and compensation claims due to errors and omissions. This is crucial for surveyors assessing asbestos risks. They should have Public Liability Insurance which protects asbestos surveyors if their work accidentally injures members of the public or damages property. It covers claims from third parties affected during asbestos inspections. The required minimum cover is £5 million. They should also have Employer’s Liability Insurance which by law, asbestos surveyors must have this insurance to protect employees in case of injury, illness, or asbestos exposure at work. The minimum legal cover is £5 million for any employee compensation claims. Make sure you check that policy limits are adequate.
  • Discuss the survey methodology. Ask how they will conduct the inspection, access all areas safely, what they will inspect and more importantly what they will not inspect, how they will collect samples, analyse asbestos, and determine remediation needs.
  • Understand their recommendations. A reputable surveyor will explain the pros and cons of different asbestos remediation options and provide guidance on the optimal approach.
  • Request an asbestos management plan. The surveyor should provide a detailed plan meeting state and federal asbestos regulations for handling identified asbestos materials.
  • Compare costs. Get quotes from at least 3 surveyors and compare based on experience, scope of work, and total costs without hidden fees.

Taking the time to choose the right surveyor will pay off through an accurate asbestos inspection, professional recommendations, and safe, compliant asbestos abatement if needed.

The Benefits of Opting for Acorn Analytical Services

At Acorn Analytical Services, we have extensive experience providing premier asbestos management solutions to building owners and managers. With full accreditation and comprehensive insurance coverage, you can rest assured that our qualified team upholds the highest standards of safety, quality, and professionalism.

Our team of experienced asbestos surveyors possesses the expertise to guide you through determining the optimal asbestos survey for your property, whether a management survey, refurbishment survey, or demolition survey. We take the time to listen to your specific needs and provide tailored recommendations to support compliant, effective asbestos management.

In addition to surveys, we offer a full suite of asbestos consultancy services, including sample testing, air monitoring, asbestos removal management, and training programs.

At Acorn Analytical Services, our commitment is to provide property owners with total asbestos solutions. We aim to simplify asbestos management through dedicated customer service, transparent communication, and steadfast adherence to health and safety protocols. Contact our team today to learn how our experience can provide optimal, compliant support for your asbestos management needs. We look forward to assisting you.

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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