What is included in an Asbestos Survey

Asbestos surveys are a vital tool for those in construction and building management as well as a  variety of other industries. Asbestos surveys are required by law due to the high risks that  asbestos materials present in buildings. An asbestos survey will include a range of important  information, in this blog we will highlight the information you should see in asbestos survey. 

Information about your surveyor and the date  

It is important to ensure you use a competent surveyor with experience of asbestos surveys as if  your survey is not completed correctly or is inadequate the consequences can be disastrous.  When you receive your asbestos survey report ensure it includes the name of your surveyor as  well as the company they represent and contact information. It is important this information is  included, so you can contact your surveyor if you have any issues. 

Executive summary  

The executive summary will give you a complete overview of your report and is a great way to get  an understanding of your report in a bite size chunk. 

Main findings  

This section of the report will detail the key findings of the asbestos survey including the location  of any asbestos-containing materials that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activity.  Normal activity may include maintenance, installing new equipment or replacing pipes. It is  important to ensure all asbestos-containing materials have been noted, so they can be monitored  and reassessed in the future. 

Recommendations  

Your surveyor will include a list of recommendations in your asbestos survey report, this may  include removing materials or getting materials checked out in greater detail. This is an important  section of the report to read as some recommendation may need to be actioned for the building  to be safe. 

Any further actions 

Any further action required will be detailed in this section, this may include additional actions that  need to be completed in order for construction work to be carried out or for the building to be  occupied again. 

Details of the laboratory  

When your surveyor completes your survey they will take samples of any asbestos-containing  materials to be tested. It is vital the name and contact details of the laboratory is included in your  report, so you can contact them if necessary. 

If you require an asbestos survey, please contact our team on 07872 054963 or email info@se asbestos-surveys.co.uk for a quote or to discuss your requirements. 

When do I need an Asbestos Survey

For many buildings it is a legal requirement to conduct an asbestos survey, this means if you fail to comply, you could be breaking the law. The main objective of an asbestos survey is to identify if there is asbestos in the building and note where it is. Knowing this information could save lives as asbestos kills.

In this blog, you’ll find out when you need an asbestos survey.

An asbestos survey will be required if:
• The building was built before 2000


• It is a non-domestic building


• Public areas of domestic buildings


• You are planning construction work

The building was built before 2000

When deciding if you require an asbestos survey, the first thing to consider is the age of the building. Asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999, therefore if the building was constructed in 2000 or later it should not contain asbestos.

Any building constructed before 2000 may have been built using asbestos materials. Asbestos was a popular material used for cement, insulation, doors, ceiling panels and so much more.
Asbestos fibres are very difficult to see with the naked eye, hence the reason for an asbestos survey. One of the things you asbestos surveyor will do during your survey is take samples, these will then be sent to a lab for testing. At SE Asbestos, we only use UKAS accredited laboratories.

Non-domestic buildings
The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR), Regulation 4, details the duty of building owners and managers to manage asbestos in non-domestic buildings. A non-domestic building includes workplaces, factories, offices, hospitals and schools. In short, a non-domestic building is any building that is not a home.
To comply with legal requirements, the duty holder of a non-domestic building must conduct a survey to identify if asbestos is present in the building and the condition it is in. For non-domestic buildings, a management asbestos survey would be required. For more information on management asbestos surveys, take a look at our website or contact our team.

Public areas in domestic buildings
CAR also states that the duty holder of domestic buildings, such as flats, has a duty to manage asbestos in public areas of domestic buildings. A public area would include corridors or reception areas. If you are a duty holder of a domestic building that has public areas, you will be required to carry out a management asbestos survey to determine if asbestos is present.

If you are planning construction work
If you are considering construction work in a building you are the duty holder of, you are legally required to conduct a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is disturbed, that is why it is vital that a thorough survey is carried out by an asbestos surveyor before any construction work is carried out. This applies to both domestic and non-domestic buildings and it does not matter what kind of construction work you are carrying out, you must carry out a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey.

If you have any further questions regarding when you need an asbestos survey, or would like to book a survey with one of our surveyors, please contact us.

5 construction site health and safety risks

There are many health and safety risks when working on or managing a construction site. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 health and safety risks on construction sites.

1. Asbestos Management

Asbestos is a very dangerous substance and must be handled correctly. Due to asbestos being an extremely hazardous material, it is important that before beginning construction work an asbestos survey is carried out by a qualified surveyor. If asbestos is found at your construction site, the correct procedures must be followed whilst it is being removed, this includes proper disposal. For further information on asbestos surveys, contact our team.

2. Electricity 

Electrocution is another big health and safety risk at construction sites, especially with live wires around. It is important to ensure your workforce is trained in electrical safety to keep themselves and their colleagues safe. There are several options for how to train your workforce, including online courses, a great option for any construction companies with a workforce in different sites.

3. Noise

Whilst noise is not always considered a hazard, on a construction site it must be. With lots of loud repetitive noises on site every day, it is vital that staff members are taking the correct precautions to protect their hearing. Depending on the level of noise, you may need to provide your team with noise defenders or other PPE to protect their hearing.

4. Working at height 

On a construction site, there are going to be many times during the constructions process that workers are required to work at height. You should make sure that any workers working at height have been given the correct training and safety equipment such as harnesses to avoid injury. There are lots of training resources available to utilise to ensure your workforce are safe no matter what height they are working at. 

5. Moving objects

There are always lots of heavy, moving objections on construction sites, from materials to vehicles. Whilst you can take some precautions to reduce injury caused by moving objects, it is the responsibility of your workers to be aware of who and what is around them when moving around a site. 

Read further information on construction site hazards, or contact us to discuss an asbestos survey or management plan.

What is a COSSH assessment?

A COSSH assessment aims to identify hazardous substances, identify who might be at risk, and then evaluate the risk to decide on precautions that need to be taken. In this blog, we will define what COSSH stands for, detail when a COSHH assessment is required and outline the three steps for completing a COSSH assessment. 

What does COSSH stand for?

COSSH stands for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. This health and safety legislation outlines how employees and employers should handle, store and dispose of hazardous substances. The main goal of COSSH is to minimise risk and to reduce exposure to hazardous substances to prevent health issues.

When is a COSSH assessment required?

If you are or your employees are using, creating or producing a substance that could be hazardous to a person’s health then you are required to complete a COSSH assessment. Employers are legally required to carry out a risk assessment before any work with or around hazardous substances can begin. As an employer, neglecting your responsibly to conduct a COSSH assessment could not only lead to legal action, but could also put your workforce at risk.

How to carry out a COSSH assessment?

A COSSH assessment is carried out in three steps; identifying hazards, identifying who is at risk and evaluation. 

Step 1: Identifying the hazards 

The first step is to identify any hazardous substances present in your workplace that may present a risk to the health and safety of customers or employees. A hazardous substance is classes as any mixture of materials that are toxic, corrosive or are an irritant. All substances that are used in the workplace, produced due to work activities, substances that are naturally occurring and biological substances, for example bacteria. Substances include chemicals, gases, vapours, mists, fumes, dusts and microorganisms. All hazardous substances must be recorded, no matter how small a risk they present to a person’s health and safety.

Step 2: Identify who is at risk

After identifying all hazardous substances, you need to consider who will be at risk from them. Remember to include employees, supervisors, contractors, cleaning and maintenance staff, site visitors, people residing or working nearby that may be exposed. Once you have identified who could be a risk, you will need to consider all the different ways they could be harmed based on how harmful the substance is, how likely it is for someone to be exposed and the duration of exposure. Some effects of coming into contact with hazardous substances include irritation to the skin, loss of consciousness, allergic reactions, infection from biological substances and terminal illness. 

Step 3: Evaluate and reduce risk of exposure

Your report should now detail all of the hazardous substances that anyone at your workplace could directly or indirectly come into contact with. Now comes the critical step of evaluating each substance and detailing the ways you will minimise risk of exposure. Begin with the substances that present the most risk and work your way down. You can follow the hierarchy or control when detailing how you will reduce risk; elimination, substitution, isolation, engineering, administration and PPE. 

For more information on dealing with hazardous substances and COSSH assessments, visit hse.gov.uk.

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.