When is an Asbestos Survey Needed? 2 Critical Points

When is an Asbestos Survey Needed

Do you know when is an Asbestos Survey Needed? A very short and direct answer is that Asbestos survey is needed when:

When is an Asbestos Survey Needed

  • When the premises, or a section of it, need upgrading, refurbishing or demolishing.
  • If the building is in the United States, asbestos survey is needed if the building was erected earlier than 1989.

Recall that the U.S. completely banned the use of asbestos in building materials in 1989. That means any commercial building constructed in 1990 or later poses no asbestos risk.

Generally speaking asbestos survey should be carried out any time a building is to undergo upgrading, refurbishing or demolishing, not minding the year it was built.

What is Asbestos (Asbestos Containing Material – ACM)

When is an Asbestos Survey Needed

Asbestos according to Wikipedia is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral. There are six types, all of which are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals, each fiber being composed of many microscopic “fibrils” that can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion and other processes.

Since they are fibers if you breathe asbestos fibers, it may increase the risk of several serious diseases, including asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Asbestos survey is necessary because of its health effect, and the survey aims to do the following;

  • Provide accurate information on the location, amount and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)
  • Assess the level of any damage or deterioration of the ACMs and whether remedial action is required
  • Provide information to produce an asbestos register and an asbestos management plan for the premises
  • Identify hidden ACMs to be removed before refurbishment work or demolition

Who Carries out an Asbestos Survey?

An asbestos survey is carried out by a competent asbestos surveyor. A competent asbestos surveyor must posses the following characteristics;
  • Must have asbestos survey knowledge, and know the risks in surveying
  • Must have training and experience about asbestos survey, and recognize their limitations
  • The surveyor must use an effective quality management system
  • The surveyor should be able to demonstrate independence, impartiality and integrity
  • The surveyor must do their work in accordance with Asbestos survey guide.

What are the Asbestos Requirements in the UK?

When is an Asbestos Survey Needed

In the UK, asbestos requirement is managed under Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Approved Code of Practice and guidance.

The Regulations came into force on 6 April 2012, updating and replacing the previous 2006 law. They contain new requirements for certain types of non-licensable work with asbestos on notification of work; designating areas where you are working on asbestos; medical surveillance and record keeping.

Two ACOPs, L127 (The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials containing asbestos) have been consolidated into this single revised ACOP. The ACOP has been revised to make legal compliance clearer to duty holders and to reflect the changes introduced in The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The presentation and language have been updated wherever possible.

Asbestos Requirements in the UK – Free PDF


This blog post have stated categorically “When is an Asbestos Survey Needed“, we also went ahead to explain what asbestos (Asbestos Containing materials – ACM) are and why asbestos survey is necessary. We have also covered Who carries out asbestos survey and the UK requirements for asbestos.

My final words, any time you want to carry out upgrading, refurbishing or demolishing of any building not minding the year it was erected, it is wise to carry out asbestos survey to be on the safe side. Make sure you hire a competent and accredited asbestos surveyor.

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