Two types of asbestos survey: which one is right for me?

Asbestos is a dangerous material when not handled correctly and is the biggest cause of work-related deaths in UK. As a result of this, asbestos surveys are required by law when asbestos is found in buildings. There are two types of asbestos surveys; Management Asbestos and Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Surveys. So which survey do you need, and when do you need to conduct an asbestos survey?

Asbestos Management Surveys

As the name suggests, a management asbestos is necessary when asbestos containing materials are expected to be present, but are not going to be disturbed. This type of survey is necessary if you are the duty holder of any non-domestic building built before 2000 as the use of asbestos containing materials wasn’t banned until 1999. Whilst management asbestos surveys are not usually required for domestic buildings, they are required for communal areas in flats or houses of multiple occupancy. Communal areas include corridors and foyers, for example.

A management survey will usually include a visual inspection of asbestos containing materials, assessing the condition and any risk involved with normal usage. A surveyor may take minimal samples to be sent for analysis or presume some materials are without samples based on their own judgement. A management survey will provide you with all the necessary information to manage and monitor any asbestos containing materials. A surveyor will prepare an asbestos registry and present you with an asbestos management plan. No further action will be required, providing the asbestos materials found do not present any risk to normal occupancy. 

Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Surveys

A refurbishment and demolition survey is required when carrying out any construction or renovation work in all buildings built before 2000. This type of survey is comprehensive and in-depth to ensure that any asbestos containing materials are found and removed to prevent risk of fatal diseases and illness. Asbestos only becomes dangerous once disturbed, hence why a comprehensive survey by a qualified, license professional is required.

As a refurbishment and demolition survey is much more comprehensive than a management survey, you may be required to vacate the building during the survey to ensure any occupants are not exposed to asbestos. A surveyor will take multiple samples of materials and send them off to a specialist laboratory for testing. This is to ensure that all types of asbestos are found, this includes materials within the building structure that may be hidden behind other materials. It should be noted that you are not required to have the entire building surveyed if you are only carrying out one in one room or area. 

It is vital that no construction, renovation or demolition work is carried out until the analysis of the samples has been carried out, and you have received the results from the laboratory. Some asbestos materials come with a license and if your building contains any licensed asbestos materials, work will need to be carried out by a licensed contractor. 

If you would like any further advice on the which survey is right for you or when you may need to conduct a survey, please contact our experienced team who will be able to assist you.