CARRYING OUT AN ASBESTOS SURVEY (SURVEYING)
The success and usefulness of an asbestos survey is dependent on a clear understanding of the client’s requirements, the specification and planning carried out and the training, experience and diligence of the surveyor.
It is important that the surveyor has a good understanding of which products and materials are likely to contain asbestos and where ACMs are likely to be located. Experienced surveyors may discriminate between potential asbestos and nonasbestos-containing materials in situ. This initial judgement can be tested by sampling and analysis.
The surveyor should have strong evidence to conclude that a material does not contain asbestos. The surveyor must also look out for evidence of asbestos debris released by previous work, or even during installation or removal work (eg over-spray from sprayed asbestos applications). When an area is not inspected, this must be recorded and presumed to contain asbestos.
The asbestos survey will need to be carried out in a methodical and systematic way to ensure that all visible or accessible areas are inspected. This will usually involve using either a topdown or bottom-up approach for surveying the building and each individual area or room for ACMs.
The outside of the building should also be inspected. Larger premises will require more detailed survey procedures, particularly if there are several surveyors at work. It may also be appropriate to carry out a separate survey on the building services, machinery and any large floor and ceiling voids.