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Asbestos Surveys

D.S.M. Asbestos Consultants Ltd carry out two types of asbestos survey.

Management Survey:

A Management Survey is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials) in the normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.

Refurbishment / Pre-Demolition Survey:

A refurbishment / pre-demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment / pre-demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonable practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. 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 / pre-demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out or for plant removal or dismantling.

The presumption that a material contains asbestos can be tested by laboratory analysis using polarised light microscopy (PLM) as outlined in MDHS 77.

Analysis of asbestos samples must be undertaken by a laboratory that is accredited by UKAS as complying with ISO 17025 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories BSI). This has been set out in CAW Regulation 20 - Standards for Analysis and has a two year lead in, becoming law on 21st November 2004.

Removal of ACMs already in place in good condition is not required by the regulations but buildings should be surveyed, asbestos labelled and its position and condition recorded to allow any asbestos to be 'managed' safely. The type of asbestos in the material, the condition of the material, its fibre release potential and its location in the building are among the factors that determine if it will be removed or repaired.

Guidance on safely controlling work with asbestos is given in ACOPs L28 and L27.

ACOP L28 applies to work with asbestos insulation, asbestos coating and asbestos insulating board for which a license is required from the HSE. Any contractor who wants to carry out asbestos removal work has to be licensed by the HSE.