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Preparing For An Asbestos Inspection


Creating a safe workspace is paramount for businesses in the UK. Asbestos inspections play a crucial role in identifying potential hazards, safeguarding both your employees and customers, and ensuring regulatory compliance. In this guide, we will explore the significance of asbestos surveys, shedding light on what they entail, why they are vital, and how you can prepare to ensure an efficient and effective survey.

Understanding Asbestos and its Risks

Asbestos, once celebrated for its versatility, is now seen for the severe health risks it poses when disturbed. Inhalation of its microscopic fibres can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Common in buildings predating 2000, asbestos lurks in insulation, flooring, roofing, decorative coatings, cement products, and more. Asbestos surveys are crucial for identifying and properly managing asbestos to mitigate potential hazards. 

Legal Requirements for Asbestos Inspections

In the United Kingdom, safeguarding the workplace against asbestos hazards is not just a best practice – it’s a legal obligation. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 mandates that duty holders must manage asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in non-domestic properties. This includes conducting regular asbestos inspections to identify and assess potential risks.

Key Legal Obligations:

  1. Duty to Manage Asbestos: Businesses must identify the presence of asbestos, assess risks, and create a management plan.
  2. Asbestos Survey Types: Duty holders must choose the appropriate asbestos survey, whether it’s a Management Survey or, a more comprehensive Asbestos Refurbishment or an Asbestos Demolition Survey.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to adhere to these legal requirements can result in severe consequences, including fines and potential imprisonment. Compliance is a legal necessity and a fundamental step in ensuring a safe working environment. Understanding and adhering to these legal requirements is critical for business owners to protect their employees and the integrity of their premises.

How to Prepare for an Asbestos Survey

An efficient asbestos survey can help you save time and money. To ensure your survey runs smoothly, you can take a few small measures to prepare.

Vacate the Property 

Ensuring that no one except the survey team is in work areas during the survey is crucial. For refurbishment or demolition surveys, it’s ideal for the premises to be vacant unless the necessary robust safety controls are in place. Managing who is in the property during the survey is key to maintaining the integrity of the survey process, obtaining accurate results, and protecting your team.

Provide Access to the Property

For an efficient asbestos survey, you must provide consultants with unimpeded access to the property. Every part of the building must be accessible during the asbestos survey. If any area is inaccessible, it will be assumed to contain Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) until proper checks can be performed. In cases where an area cannot be accessed and the survey cannot be carried out, this will be explicitly mentioned in your asbestos survey report.

Common access issues include not providing keys or access codes, which can cause delays. 

Asbestos Inspection FAQs

What happens if asbestos is found during a survey?

If suspected asbestos is found, it will first be sampled to identify the exact type of materials present. If asbestos is identified, appropriate measures, such as encapsulation, removal, or ongoing management will be recommended to reduce risks and prevent harm. An asbestos survey will provide all the necessary details to create and update your asbestos management plan

Can I work in the building during an asbestos survey?

In some cases, you can work in the property during an asbestos inspection – but not in the area being inspected. For more intrusive inspections, the property must be vacated by everyone except the asbestos survey team.

What do I do if I suspect my property contains asbestos?

If you have concerns that any materials in your property may contain asbestos, it is crucial not to handle or disturb them or risk exposure to potential airborne fibres. For safe and professional assistance to manage in your property, contact a qualified asbestos surveyor who can assess and address the situation appropriately.

Schedule an Asbestos Survey Today

Are you concerned about asbestos in your commercial property? Safeguard your premises and ensure regulatory compliance with an asbestos survey and management plan. Contact our experienced asbestos surveyors to conduct thorough assessments tailored to your property’s needs. Don’t compromise on safety – act now to protect occupants, comply with regulations, and secure peace of mind. 

Learn More About Asbestos

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