Asbestos Surveys

What you need to know

Find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about asbestos survey.

What Is an Asbestos Survey?

An asbestos survey is undertaken to identify Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) within existing buildings. Asbestos is a dangerous material that, if inhaled, can cause health issues such as lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural diseases.

Asbestos exposure has resulted in thousands of deaths. In 2019 alone, there were 2,369 UK deaths caused by inhalation of asbestos fibre. Yet, despite the dangers asbestos poses, it has been used for more than 150 years in the construction industry.

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Download our Site Investigation Checklist, which covers the 13 Site Investigation surveys you need to complete on every site. This includes a rundown of why you need each of them and at what stage through the project lifecycle.

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What Are the Different Asbestos Survey Types?

Asbestos surveys fall under two main types; management surveys for normal building occupation and refurbishment and demolition surveys for all construction work.

[icon_text box_type=”normal” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”top” icon_size=”fa-2x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title_tag=”h4″ separator=”no” text=”All parties that get involved on the site will request the topographical survey to complete their works.” image=”4026″ title=”Management asbestos survey”]
[icon_text box_type=”normal” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”top” icon_size=”fa-2x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title_tag=”h4″ separator=”no” text=”Required for all areas of construction work, including upgrades, refurbishment and demolition.” image=”4025″ title=”Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey”]

Why do you need an asbestos survey?

Asbestos surveys are a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASWA) and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR12).

They are required as asbestos is a toxic substance that can have devastating efects if not managed correctly or if people come into contact with it (often unknowingly).

[icon_text box_type=”normal” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”top” icon_size=”fa-2x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title_tag=”h4″ separator=”no” text=”• HASWA 1974• CAR12″ image=”4026″ title=”Legal requirement”]
[icon_text box_type=”normal” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”top” icon_size=”fa-2x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title_tag=”h4″ separator=”no” text=”Find out early if your building has asbestos.” image=”4026″ title=”Avoid abortive costs”]
[icon_text box_type=”normal” icon_type=”normal” icon_position=”top” icon_size=”fa-2x” use_custom_icon_size=”no” title_tag=”h4″ separator=”no” text=”Asbestos can be harmful, even deadly, if not handled properly” image=”4026″ title=”Keep your workers safe”]

What is the risk of not doing an asbestos survey?

You risk the site being closed down until you complete the requirement. As an employer, you have a duty to protect your workforce which is why this legal requirement is in place and needs to be adhered to. Buildings built prior to 2000 are very likely to contain asbestos, unless previously removed by a prior owner. Without the survey, you won’t know if asbestos is present, where the asbestos is located, how much of it there is and how much it may cost to remediate.


When would an asbestos survey be required?

If your site has an existing building on it, then you should complete an asbestos survey to mitigate any risks and identify the amount of asbestos, if present.

How is an asbestos survey completed?

Competent asbestos surveyors will attend your site with the adequate personal protective equipment. They will complete a walk-through and log any asbestos-containing materials in an asbestos register. This will include the location, type and status of each of the asbestos samples. These samples will be sent to a UKAS accredited lab for testing.

Depending on the asbestos survey the output will include the following: asbestos report, asbestos register, risk assessment and management plan.

What is the typical scope of an asbestos survey?

Different suppliers will typically offer varying surveys, with some more comprehensive than others. This is why we have defend our own RenKap Supplier Scope of Services to ensure all of our suppliers adhere to our high-quality, RICS and British Standard best practice guidance. This also means all the tenders we
receive are comparable and that the output report provided to our clients will adhere to the highest standards.

How long does it typically take to complete an asbestos survey?

The time it takes to conduct an asbestos survey depends on the size and age of a building, and whether or not it is in use or occupied.

Management type surveys are often faster to complete than refurbishment and demolition surveys. Refurbishment and demolition surveys are more intrusive and require more time on-site to complete.

What are the key pieces of information that suppliers need from a client to successfully complete an asbestos survey?

Suppliers will need some essential pieces of information including:

  • Site location
  • Redline boundary
  • Site access instructions
  • A summary of what works is planned on the site. Will the building be demolished or refurbished?
  • A foor plan of the building that needs to be surveyed
  • Unencumbered access to all areas including lofts and basements
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