Asbestos Management and Surveys

Asbestos Management and Surveys

Asbestos is one of the most legislated areas of compliance in the UK The asbestos regulations and the HSE guidance associated with it can be at times complex. We help customers in all areas of asbestos compliance. Our approach is based on:

  • Meeting specific needs
  • Independence
  • Minimizing costs
  • Highly experienced problem solving surveyors
  • Flexibility

People responsible for running or occupying buildings have a duty to manage the risk from asbestos. The management activity demonstrates long term compliance, which would involve risk assessments, establishing registers, and mark, manage or remove strategies.

The information held must be kept up to date and made available to anyone who may work or disturb the asbestos containing material (ACM). Regular reviews and condition assessments should therefore form any part of the strategy. Training of all relevant personnel is another key requirement.

MBHS actively helps its clients manage asbestos, from initial surveys to strategic reviews of the management in place, to comply with Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR2012). We aim to provide a high class service at the lowest possible cost and to make survey reports understandable, comprehensive and informative.

Asbestos Legislation

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 came into force on 6 April 2012. They update the 2006 Regulations to take account of the European Commission’s view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).

The Regulations Apply to:

  • All non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business.
  • The common areas of domestic buildings, e.g. halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces.
  • All other domestic properties are not affected by the duty to manage.

Asbestos Surveys

Surveys of buildings for asbestos materials take various forms depending on a client’s need and the current use of the building. However, to ensure compliance with the current Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, Regulation 4, an asbestos building survey should be carried out on all non-domestic buildings and communal areas of domestic buildings. By carrying out an asbestos survey, an asbestos register and risk assessment will be produced to prevent or reduce exposure by highlighting the presence of any asbestos material.

The ultimate aim of a survey is to alert the Duty Holder of the presence of asbestos-containing materials within their properties. There are 2 kinds of asbestos surveys which are outlined in the HSE publication HSG264, “Asbestos: The Survey Guide”

  • Management Survey
  • Demolition/Refurbishment survey

In all types of survey an Asbestos Register is produced incorporating plans, observation points, accredited certificate of Bulk Analysis (where samples have been taken), photographs and recommendations.

Asbestos Facts

What is asbestos? (Extract from HSE – Brief Guide 05/10)
Asbestos is the name used for a range of natural minerals. There are three main types of asbestos:

  • blue (crocidolite)
  • brown (amosite)
  • white (chrysotile)

The type of asbestos cannot be identified just by its colour.

Asbestos has been used in a very large number of products, many of which have been used in buildings. Some products have one type of asbestos in them while others have mixtures of two or more. All types of asbestos can be dangerous.

Why is it dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of thin fibres. These can break down into much smaller and thinner fibres. The smallest fibres cannot be seen with the naked eye but they can be breathed in. Asbestos fibres are only dangerous if they are made airborne and breathed in, but ALL types of asbestos fibres are potentially fatal if breathed in.

The fibres that are breathed in can become stuck in the lungs and damage them. This can cause scars that stop the lungs working properly (asbestosis), or it can cause cancer. The main types of cancer caused by asbestos are cancer of the lung and cancer of the lining of the lung (mesothelioma). These diseases can take from 10 to 60 years to develop and there is no cure for any of them.

Where do you find asbestos?
You are most likely to find it in buildings built or refurbished before 2000. Many thousands of tonnes of asbestos products were used in buildings. Much of it is still there and you cannot easily identify these products from their appearance. The most common uses of asbestos in buildings were:

  • loose packing between floors and in partition walls;
  • sprayed (‘limpet’) fire insulation on structural beams and girders;
  • lagging, e.g. on pipework, boilers, calorifiers, heat exchangers, insulating jackets for cold water tanks, around ducts;
  • asbestos insulation board (AIB), e.g. ceiling tiles, partition walls, soffits, service duct covers, fire breaks, heater cupboards, door panels, lift shaft linings, fire surrounds;
  • asbestos cement (AC), e.g. roof sheeting, wall cladding, walls and ceilings, bath panels, boiler and incinerator flues, fire surrounds, gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks;
  • other products, e.g. floor tiles, mastics, sealants, textured decorative coatings (such as artex), rope seals, gaskets (e.g. pipework), millboards, paper products, fire doors, cloth (e.g. fire blankets), bituminous products (roofing felt).

Remember – how dangerous the asbestos is depends on the type of asbestos and the type of material it is in, the condition of the material, and how likely the material is to be disturbed.

Who is likely to be exposed to asbestos fibres?
Anyone who disturbs asbestos-containing materials, for example, by working on them or near them. Research has suggested that the groups most at risk are those who carry out building maintenance and refurbishment work, for example (this is not a complete list, nor in any particular order):

  • Demolition Contractors
  • Electricians
  • Roofing Contractors
  • Painters and Decorators
  • Construction Contractors
  • Joiners
  • Heating and Ventilation Engineers
  • Plumbers
  • Telecommunications Engineers
  • Gas Fitters
  • Fire and Burglar Alarm Installers
  • Plasterers
  • General Maintenance Staff
  • Builders
  • Computer Installers
  • Shop Fitters
  • Building Surveyors

(Extract: Health and Safety – A Guide for Safety Representatives – 05/10)

Services Available

  • Asbestos management surveys (formally known as type 1 and 2 surveys)
  • Asbestos re–inspections and remediation work
  • Asbestos Sampling
  • Asbestos strategic reviews
  • Asbestos Air Monitoring Asbestos removal by licensed contractors
  • Asbestos training for both management and awareness

MBHS has established a reputation for offering a fast and reliable service at competitive rates.

We have a very wide range of clients that include building contractors, manufacturing companies, NHS, Schools, Care Homes, Hotels, Facilities management companies, colleges, universities, registered charities, financial companies and restaurants.