Asbestos: The Survey Guide (HSG264)
On the 29th January 2010, the Health & Safety Executive launched a new asbestos guidance document that includes important regulatory changes for the way asbestos surveys are planned and delivered. The guide replaces and expands on the surveying industry standard- 'MDHS100: Surveying, sampling and the assessment of asbestos containing materials'. The new guidance assists asbestos surveyors, as well as providing advice for those who are required to implement and manage asbestos under Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) in non-domestic premises (i.e. Clients/ Duty Holders). There are now 2 types of survey: the 'Management Survey' and the 'Refurbishment and Demolition Survey'. The new surveys are more self-explanatory and promote better liaison between surveyor and duty holder pre survey to ensure accurate and useable survey information.
Management Surveys
The management survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition. The survey will often involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties, and will include an assessment of the condition of the various ACMs and their ability to release fibres into the air 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 ACMs. Although it can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos.
Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys
The refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling.