It is now a legal requirement that an asbestos survey is carried out when planning to refurbish or demolish a building. If refurbishing or demolishing, it is also necessary to identify asbestos containing materials, if it is thought possible that the occupants may come into contact/disturb asbestos containing materials whilst in the course of the project. HSG 264 – Asbestos : The Survey Guide, the UK’s HSE publication on Asbestos defines 2 types of Asbestos survey
Management Asbestos Survey (MAS)
A MAS is the standard survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) in a building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their condition.
A MAS will involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties. This survey assesses the condition of the various ACMs and their ability to release fibres into the air if they are disturbed. This assessment will give a good initial guide to the priority for managing ACMs as it will identify any materials which will readily release airborne fibres if disturbed.
A MAS usually requires the sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of ACMs. A MAS can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos.
A MAS can be completed using a combination of sampling ACMs and presuming ACMs or, indeed, just presuming. Any materials presumed to contain asbestos must also have their condition assessed.
Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Survey (RDAS)
An RDAS is required before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of asbestos survey is used to locate and describe, as far as possible, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The asbestos 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. An RDAS 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.
There is a specific requirement for all ACMs to be removed as far as reasonably practicable before major refurbishment or final demolition. Removing ACMs is also appropriate in other smaller refurbishment situations which involve structural or layout changes to buildings (e.g. removal of partitions, walls, units etc).
An RDAS report must be supplied by the PSDP to contractors, to mitigate any asbestos risks. Where asbestos is identified it should be removed, the asbestos survey does not normally assess the condition of the asbestos, other than to indicate areas of damage or where additional asbestos debris may be present. Where the asbestos removal may not take place for some time, the ACMs’ condition will need to be assessed and the materials managed.
The Ayrton Group has considerable experience in conducting both MAS AND RDAS Asbestos surveys.
We will be able to complete the survey and assist you throughout the lifecycle of your Asbestos removal project should risks be identified.