What is an asbestos survey?

Asbestos is a material that was once used in building materials and can be harmful, even deadly, if not handled properly. Asbestos surveys form a critical part of site investigation. They are a way to see if a building has any asbestos in it so that it can be removed or managed before anyone gets hurt. The risk of asbestos is so high that it has been required by law to identify asbestos-containing materials. Asbestos fibres are site investigation.
microscopic which makes them nearly impossible to detect.

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What are the different types of asbestos survey?


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

asbestos survey

Required for safe
continued occupation

Refurbishment and demolition
asbestos survey

Required for all areas of construction work, including upgrades, refurbishment
and demolition.

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 effects
if not managed correctly or if people come into contact with it (often unknowingly).

Legal requirement

  • HASWA 1974
  • CAR12

Avoid abortive costs
Find out early if your building
has asbestos

Keep your workers safe
Asbestos can be harmful, even deadly,
if not handled properly

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 defined 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 floor plan of the building that needs to be surveyed
  • Unencumbered access to all areas including lofts and basements
  • Depending on the asbestos survey the output will include the following: asbestos report, asbestos register, risk assessment and management plan.

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