Last Updated on 4 July 2023
What is an Asbestos Inspection?
An asbestos inspection can take different forms, but is fundamentally an inspection of any asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) within a building or site.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations CAR 2012 and relevant guidance documents cover all the required aspects anyone would require in relation to asbestos.
An asbestos inspection could be part of a survey. Having an asbestos survey is the starting point under the regulations whereby one would be searching a building to locate any asbestos. There aren’t many times asbestos is used in it’s raw mineral form, as it is more commonly added to other products, and we generally refer to these as asbestos containing materials or ACM’s.
Another type of asbestos inspection could be a reinspection or a regular one. When asbestos has been detected within a property, there is a legal duty to manage the asbestos to protect those that work in the building, or those that attend the building to undertake work.
This is achieved through an asbestos management plan (AMP). This document should be a live document that reflects the condition of those materials within the property. The inspection, if conducted regularly, will allow the ‘duty holder’ to ensure the materials remain in an appropriately safe condition.
For example, asbestos products can become weathered and degraded over time. Asbestos products can be damaged by vehicles, persons or in some cases even birds and rodents. If they are regularly inspected and monitored to assess their condition, then we can ensure they are safe, sealed and persons are protected from any potential asbestos exposure.
Who will normally undertake an Asbestos Inspection?
An asbestos inspection is generally undertaken by trained individuals (usually asbestos surveyors) who know what signs to look for, and can amend risk assessments as required.
Every asbestos containing material should have its own risk assessment. If the condition of the material changes, or the use of the room or area changes, then the person undertaking the inspection can reflect this information in the management plan.
In some cases where there are very few asbestos products within a building or they are very low risk, an appointed person may be able to inspect the materials with remote help and assistance from an asbestos professional.
There are occasions where sites have a large amount of asbestos products or an organisation may have a large number of outlets or sites around the UK and they bring the work in-house. As an asbestos consultancy, we have found that in most cases, clients prefer to outsource this to an appropriate professional individual or organisation such as ourselves.
Is it a legal requirement to manage asbestos in buildings?
Whatever the choice, whether you choose someone in-house to carry out an inspection or you outsource to an asbestos professional, there is a legal obligation in the UK to identify and manage asbestos in all none domestic properties built before the year 2000, when asbestos was finally banned.
Technically, It was actually banned in late 1999, but the 2000 date is generally used.
It’s also important to remember and bear in mind that occasionally, asbestos was used mistakenly after 2000 in products such as gaskets, or older machinery containing asbestos was moved into newer premises built after the year 2000.
When should you check the asbestos register?
In the UK, you should check the asbestos register in the following circumstances:-
Before commencing any construction or renovation work:
If you are planning to carry out any construction or renovation work in a building that was constructed before the year 2000, you should check the asbestos register to identify if there is any asbestos-containing material (ACM) present in the building that may be disturbed during the work.
Before conducting any maintenance or repair work:
If you are responsible for the maintenance or repair of a building that was constructed before the year 2000, you should check the asbestos register before conducting any work that may potentially disturb ACM, such as drilling, cutting, or sanding.
When conducting a regular asbestos inspection:
If you are a building owner, manager, or responsible for the maintenance of a building that was constructed before the year 2000, you should regularly check the asbestos register during routine inspections to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurate.
When purchasing or leasing a property:
If you are considering purchasing or leasing a property that was constructed before the year 2000, it is essential to check the asbestos register as part of your due diligence process to identify any potential ACM that may pose a health risk to occupants.
During emergency situations:
In the event of a fire, flood, or other emergency situation that may cause damage to a building constructed before the year 2000, it is crucial to check the asbestos register to identify if any ACM may have been disturbed or damaged, and appropriate measures can be taken to ensure the safety of occupants and responders.
It is important to note that the responsibility for maintaining an asbestos register lies with the duty holder, which could be the building owner, manager, or employer, depending on the circumstances.
Also, It is essential to follow relevant regulations and guidelines in the UK, such as the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, to ensure proper management of ACM and protect the health and safety of building occupants and workers.
Need an inspection on your premises?
If you require assistance with either a new asbestos inspection or to arrange one as part of your regular management plan (AMP) update, then we’ll be happy to assist. Give us a call and our experts will give you some guidance on the matter.
Our professional asbestos surveyors conduct asbestos inspections and asbestos surveys every day across the UK on all types of properties, both residential and commercial, for private home owners and commercial property Managers and owners. So when it comes to managing asbestos in your property, you’re in very safe hands with RB Asbestos Consultants.