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What Are The Different Types Of Asbestos Surveys

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  • 12-01-2024
What Are The Different Types Of Asbestos Surveys

This article asks: what are the different types of asbestos surveys? Uncover the various types of surveys tailored to different properties and purposes, including management surveys, refurbishment surveys, and demolition surveys. 

 Management Survey

A "Management Survey" is among the different varieties of asbestos inspections, frequently serving as the most typical. Its chief purpose is to locate materials containing asbestos, known as asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), in a building that might cause harm during the daily operations and occupancy. This investigation also guards against any damage or decline happening over time. The primary focus of this type of survey is manageable risks to maintain a controlled atmosphere within the premises.

The main objective of a management survey is to spot and report the status, condition, and existence of any ACMs present. These could encompass elements like ceiling tiles, dividing walls, or insulation which could be disturbed or damaged during regular activities. The surveyor takes representative samples that are subsequently analysed in a lab to confirm whether asbestos is present or not.

It's a non-intrusive inspection, nonetheless, it may involve minor interruptions at the location. The information gathered in this stage is crucial in creating an asbestos register. An asbestos register is a key documentation in any asbestos management scheme. In conclusion, a "Management Survey" is a vital tool for managing asbestos-related risks in a building, ensuring the safety of occupants and the preservation of the building's condition over time.

 Pre-Refurbishment Survey

A "Pre-Refurbishment Survey" is a comprehensive examination required before undertaking any renovation or refurbishment works in a building. It involves a detailed inspection process, going beyond the usual scope of a management survey.

The primary aim of this survey is to identify all Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) located in areas where the refurbishment work is planned.

This survey is more intrusive and requires full access to potential asbestos-containing areas, including behind walls, under floors and above ceilings. It may involve destructive inspection and even an intense level of disturbance in the property.

The purpose here is to ensure utmost safety, avoiding any risks linked with asbestos materials during renovation, and minimise the potential harm to occupants and workers. It is pivotal to mention that landlords bear a legal responsibility under the Control of Asbestos Regulations. 

What Are The Different Types Of Asbestos Surveys

They are obligated to manage any ACMs within their properties meticulously; their paramount obligation is to ensure the safety of tenants, workers, and anyone visiting or residing on the property.

Before commencing any renovation works, landlords need to identify the types of asbestos present. Asbestos, when disturbed, can release harmful fibres into the air. These fibres, when ingested or inhaled, can cause serious health issues - including lung disease and cancer. Therefore, it’s crucial that asbestos if present, is effectively managed and controlled. This is where the Pre-Refurbishment Survey plays a major role. The survey findings provide landlords and contractors with comprehensive details about the presence, location and type of any ACMs on the property.

In return, they can make informed decisions about the refurbishment work that will be carried out. It also allows them to implement suitable precautions to prevent or minimise exposure to released asbestos fibres during the works. The importance of a Pre-Refurbishment Survey can’t be overstated.

It is a necessary step to ensure the safety of all people involved, following the guidelines as outlined in the Control of Asbestos Regulations and reducing the risk of asbestos-related health problems. It underscores the significance of asbestos management and control in any refurbishment work.

 Pre-Demolition Survey

The process of conducting a "Pre-Demolition Survey" shares many similarities with a pre-refurbishment survey. One significant aspect of this survey is its ability to identify all Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs) throughout the entire building, or a portion of it that is scheduled for demolition. It should be noted that this survey is rather intense and invasive as the building will be vacant during the whole survey process. During a pre-demolition survey, the surveyors often find it necessary to demolish certain parts of the building.

Their aim is to make sure that no materials containing asbestos have been overlooked or left unattended. Any material containing asbestos can lead to potential health hazards and can also impact the success of the demolition process. To verify the presence and location of ACMs, surveyors take certain rigorous steps. Samples are collected from different parts of the building.

These include visible areas as well as hidden spots that are generally overlooked. After sample collection, extensive analysis is conducted. The results of this analysis allow the surveyors to document the presence, quantity, and specific location of ACMs in the building. The findings from the pre-demolition survey are crucial in planning safe and effective demolition operations while ensuring compliance with local and national laws related to asbestos handling and disposal. 

 Before Demolition

Before any demolition activities take place, it's of the utmost importance to perform a pre-demolition survey. This crucial procedure allows adequately trained professionals to check various parts of the building, such as the mortar, bricks, and often inaccessible portions like floor cavities.

This is essential for the purpose of testing for the presence of asbestos. Asbestos is a potentially harmful substance that was routinely used in construction for its excellent heat resistance and durability.

If its fibres are accidentally released and then inhaled, they can pose serious and significant health risks. This danger underscores the necessity for thorough and meticulous efforts to find all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) before initiating demolition.

Before Demolition - Different Types Of Asbestos Surveys?

Properly managing ACMs significantly lowers the risk of potentially dangerous asbestos fibres becoming airborne during demolition. A comprehensive pre-demolition survey isn't focused solely on the identification of ACMs.

In addition to this, it also develops effective strategies to manage and safely remove the identified ACMs. Safety is of paramount importance throughout this entire process. The survey ensures that Astec Consultants Ltd remains in adherence to current health and safety regulations, offering an essential service for clients and safeguarding the wider public in the process. From start to finish, the pre-demolition survey plays a vital role in the success of any demolition undertaking. It is at the heart of maintaining safety standards and is a critical step in ensuring a safe and responsible approach to demolition.

 What Happens During An Asbestos Survey?

An asbestos survey is a precautionary examination conducted by a trained and qualified surveyor. The exact procedure for the survey varies depending on the type of study— be it a management survey, a pre-refurbishment survey, or a pre-demolition survey. Despite differences in procedures, the main aim remains to identify any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and manage them effectively to prevent harm. Management surveys are typically routine, looking for asbestos in the course of regular occupancy.

Visually examining the building, the surveyor takes samples from various areas representing the building's different components. These samples are then analysed later in a laboratory to identify any asbestos present. As the name suggests, a pre-refurbishment survey is required before any refurbishment work. This survey is more intrusive, where the surveyor actively searches hidden areas and takes more samples because asbestos can be hidden behind walls, ceilings etc. The same goes for a pre-demolition survey, which is mandatory before any demolition work.

This is the most comprehensive of the three and involves even more rigorous procedures since the entire building will be demolished. The findings from the asbestos survey are documented meticulously, noting the location, extent, and condition of any ACMs found. This information is later used to create an asbestos register, essentially a document detailing the presence and state of asbestos within the building. This then informs the construction of an effective asbestos management plan, a critical step towards maintaining safety within the site.

Importantly, the process is rooted in the principles outlined in the Control of Asbestos Regulations. As such, if any ACMs are found, the situation is managed promptly, with minimum disruption. The key focus is to ensure everyone involved, from occupants to workers, is protected from the potential harm asbestos can cause. Doing so emphasises the importance of expertly conducted asbestos surveys in maintaining health and safety standards.

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