Most people are unaware of the type of asbestos surveys that are required or the standards and limitations of each of the types of the survey have. Asbestos surveys (HSG 264) are split into two basic types of survey:
HSG 264 Asbestos Management Surveys.
A management survey is a standard asbestos survey, the purpose of which is to locate, where practicable, the presence of any suspect ACMs in the building which has the potential to be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy. This Survey needs to include foreseeable maintenance and any further installation. Management asbestos surveys generally will involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance of the suspected asbestos. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises, ie it will depend on factors such as the type of building, the nature of construction, accessibility etc. A management asbestos survey includes 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 ACM.
HSG 264 Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys (Fully Intrusive Inspections).
A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out, 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, eg when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling. Refurbishment and demolition surveys are intended to locate all the asbestos in the building and it is a disruptive and fully intrusive survey that may need to penetrate all parts of the building structure. Aggressive inspection techniques will be needed to lift carpets and tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors which may include asbestos and in these situations, controls should be put in place to prevent the spread of potential asbestos debris. Refurbishment and demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to minimise risks to the public or employees and ideally, the building should not be in service and all furnishings removed. The ‘surveyed’ area must be shown to be fit for reoccupation before people move back in. This will require a thorough visual inspection and, if appropriate (eg where there has been significant destruction), reassurance air sampling with disturbance. Under no circumstances should staff remain in rooms or areas of buildings when intrusive sampling is performed.
Safeline Environmental can provide professional Asbestos Surveys and services at all levels as required