Is an asbestos survey a legal requirement?
If you own or maintain non-domestic premises that were built before the year 2000, then it is a legal requirement for you to have had this property surveyed by a qualified asbestos specialist.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 state that you owe a duty of care to anyone who visits your property, and by having a survey completed you are able to ensure this. If someone is harmed by asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) on your premises and you do not have a survey in place, you are then at risk of facing serious legal sanctions.
What types of asbestos surveys are there?
There are two recognized types of survey for ACMs.
Management Survey Explained
A Management Survey is required to monitor and manage asbestos-containing materials during the normal occupation and use of your premises. It will normally take the place of a visual inspection, with a minimum of intrusive work and material sampling. The surveyor or inspector may be able to identify ACMs without taking samples. Most functioning commercial or multi-tenancy properties require a management survey.
What is an asbestos management survey?
This type of survey aims to ensure that where ACMs are present on the premises or in equipment, they are kept in good condition and that no-one is harmed by their continuing presence. It also verifies that sufficient measures are in place so that visitors or employees do not accidentally disturb it. It’s likely that there will be some minor asbestos disturbance in order to assess the material.
A management survey will also provide guidance on maintaining a safe environment and what steps to take if remedial work is required.
Refurbishment / Demolition Survey Explained
A Refurbishment / Demolition Survey must take place prior to major refurbishment, remedial construction or demolition of a premises. A suitably qualified surveyor is normally required.
The survey aims to ensure that the planned work will be carried out by a suitable contractor in the right way, and that no-one will be harmed by working around ACM in the equipment or premises.
The area must be evacuated while the survey takes place as it will involve disturbance of materials and destructive inspection of ACMs. Once the survey is complete, the site must be certified as ‘fit for reoccupation’ before work can commence.