asbestos management in the workplace


Asbestos still poses a risk to those who work in or occupy many older buildings in the UK. Before 1999, when it was finally banned in full, asbestos was used to insulate various aspects of commercial, institutional, and public buildings. With its health risks now well-known, asbestos needs to be carefully assessed and documented where it is found, and plans developed for its management or removal. Asbestos surveys provide an important part of that process.

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What Is An Asbestos Survey?

Asbestos surveys are required for the management of any affected building to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. All non-residential buildings constructed before 1999 require an asbestos survey unless it can be verified that no asbestos was used in their fabrication. An asbestos survey is intended to determine the presence of asbestos, assess its condition and set out management plans to avoid the risk of exposure.

Types Of Asbestos Survey

There are three types of surveys which can be chosen by the holder of the duty to manage asbestos, depending on the usage of, and proposed work on the building.

1) Asbestos Management Survey

Formerly known as a Type 2 Survey, an asbestos management survey is meant to assess and manage the possibility of any ACMs in a building during normal use. Generally, it is a non-intrusive survey, which identifies the types of materials used without disruption. It should investigate all areas of the building, including lofts and basements. A management survey allows appropriate plans for regular usage and asbestos registers to be produced. Whilst compared to a Type 2 survey, a management survey requires better pre-survey planning resulting in fewer presumptions being made.

2) Refurbishment Survey

A building that is being worked on will require a refurbishment or demolition survey. These are now classified separately but were previously identified together as an asbestos refurbishment-demolition (type 3) survey.

A refurbishment survey should be carried out prior to any work on a building which may damage or disrupt asbestos. It is an intrusive survey which involves searching for ACMs in specific areas that are to be changed or upgraded. They should be carried out before wall removals, window installations, classroom upgrades or similar work.

3) Demolition Survey

A demolition survey is the most intrusive type of survey. It requires damage to the building to determine what materials it has been constructed from. The aim is to identify the presence of all ACMs ahead of demolition work, for that process to be carried out safely. Since it is to be wholly removed, the condition of any asbestos found in a demolition survey is not normally assessed beyond its presence.

A demolition survey will be used in the tendering process for the removal of ACMs and should be supplied to any designers or contractors who are bidding for work on the building. It should only be conducted in unoccupied parts of a building, ideally only when it is entirely out of service.

Asbestos Surveys From OMC Consultants

OMC Consultants are fully qualified to carry out all types of asbestos surveys in your premises. We are happy to advise on which type to choose along with any other information you need.

To learn more about our asbestos surveys and other services, please contact us today.

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