Asbestos Management Surveys

An asbestos management survey will help you locate asbestos containing materials in your buildings.

Asbestos Management Surveys

An asbestos management survey's purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.

Asbestos Management Survey

Management surveys will often involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance but should always be covered up by the surveyor. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties, ie it will depend on factors such as the type of building, the nature of construction, accessibility etc. This is why it is always key to discuss with the clients the procedure of an asbestos management survey and reasons for having them carries out.

The Purpose of an Asbestos Management Survey:

  • To help manage asbestos in all your buildings.
  • To provide accurate information on the location, amount and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
  • To assess the level of damage or deterioration in the ACMs and whether remedial action is required.
  • To use the survey information to prepare a record of the location of any asbestos, commonly called an asbestos register, and an asbestos plan of the building(s).
  • To help reduce risk of staff/tenants/occupants being exposed to asbestos fibres.

Asbestos Survey Key Points:

  • Be aware that the survey is essential for the client/dutyholder to successfully manage asbestos.
  • All asbestos should be located as far as reasonably practicable within the survey type.
  • Ensure that the appropriate survey is undertaken for the client’s needs.
  • Avoid caveats.
  • Ensure the survey is reported in a format that can be used to prepare an asbestos register and building plan.
  • Inform the client that the survey is not the end point in managing asbestos.

An asbestos management survey should include an assessment of the condition of the various asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) and their ability to release fibres if they are disturbed in some way. This ‘material assessment’ will give a good initial guide to the priority for managing ACMs as it will identify the materials which will most readily release airborne fibres if they are disturbed. The survey will usually involve sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos.

However an asbestos management survey can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos. A management survey can be completed using a combination of sampling asbestos containing materials and presuming materials contain asbestos or, indeed, just presuming. Any materials presumed to contain asbestos must also have their condition assessed (i.e. a material assessment). Asbestos management surveys can involve a combination of sampling to confirm asbestos is present or presuming asbestos to be present. This is done by the experience of surveyors and their knowledge of materials that contain asbestos.

Materials can also be referred back to materials previously identified in the survey, this reduces the risk of sampling and also the cost for sampling the same materials over and over.

Management surveys should cover routine and simple maintenance work.

However, it has to be recognised that where ‘more intrusive’ maintenance or repair work is involved, there may not be sufficient information in the management survey and a specified refurbishment survey will be needed. A asbestos refurbishment survey will be required for all work which disturbs the fabric of the building in areas where the management survey has not been intrusive. The decision on the need for a refurbishment survey should be made by the dutyholder (probably with help from others) we suggest that even if you are doing basic decorations (ie carpets, painting, hanging pictures, moving lights) that you have a separate specified refurbishment survey carried out.