Asbestos Surveying - Why?

The danger from asbestos occurs when asbestos containing materials are disturbed or moved. Asbestos fibres may be released and inhaled, settling in the lungs of maintenance workers or whoever may be in the area.

It is essential that anyone involved with a non-domestic property is aware that legislation dictates an asbestos survey must be carried out and reviewed on an annual basis.

In May 2004, Regulation 4 of the The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012, now superseded by The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, came into effect. This imposed a legal duty upon anyone who requires to have maintenance works carried out on a non-domestic property, to have a survey carried out to ascertain whether asbestos materials are present within the property.

This survey allows the 'Duty Holder' to :

  1. Monitor the condition of any asbestos containing materials
  2. Put appropriate controls in place
  3. Notify anyone who may inadvertently disturb asbestos during works

Legislation applies to the 'Duty Holder', who could be the building owner, tenant or landlord of a commercially run premises.

Guess work is not an option, even if the 'Duty Holder' thinks there are no asbestos containing materials in the premises, an asbestos survey must still be carried out.

In January 2010, the Health and Safety Executive released HSG264 which replaced MDHS100. Survey types 1, 2 and 3 have been replaced with Management and Refurbishment/Demolition surveys.

A Management survey is legally required to be carried out in all non-domestic properties and this allows day-to-day works to be carried out safely. Should any refurbishment works be required to the premises, a Refurbishment/Demolition survey must be instructed to allow the works to proceed. A Refurbishment/Demolition survey is technically more challenging, as their purpose is to identify all asbestos containing materials within a particular area or within the premises as a whole.

For more information on asbestos and asbestos surveys, refer to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.