Contact with asbestos and its removal are heavily regulated and specifically related legislation includes the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012).
Under Regulation 4 the ‘Duty to Manage’ there is a responsibility on building owners, landlords and agents to manage the risk from asbestos-containing material in their premises.
The duty holder has a responsibility to:
- Identify asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present
- Assess the risk posed by ACMs
- Prepare a detailed written plan on how to manage the risk of asbestos
- Implement the plan
- Review and monitor to ensure compliance
- Inform those who need to know the location and condition of ACMs
Asbestos was traditionally used in buildings for its thermal and electrical insulation properties as well as its high tensile strength, however, despite its use being banned in the United Kingdom in November 1999, there are still an estimated 1.5 million buildings that contain asbestos.
All surveys follow the Health and Safety Executive’s Guidance Note HSG 264, Asbestos: The Survey Guide.
Asbestos Management Survey
The purpose of the survey is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy. A comprehensive risk assessment of their condition (material) and potential to release fibres (priority) is undertaken.
Samples from each type of suspect ACM are collected and analysed to determine their asbestos type. The above data will allow you the client to prioritise the management of ACM’s within your building and to comply with The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 and your ‘duty to manage’.
Refurbishment & Demolition Survey (pre-demolition/major refurbishment surveys)
This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the building or localised area of interest and may involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. A full sampling programme is undertaken to identify possible ACMs and estimates of the volume and surface area of ACMs made.
The survey is designed to be used as a basis for tendering the removal of ACMs from the building prior to demolition or major refurbishment.
Asbestos Air Testing & Monitoring
Asbestos air monitoring and testing is a critical part of ongoing management of asbestos presence, and part of any removals process that disturbs or breaks up asbestos solids.
Anywhere that products containing asbestos are in a poor, aged condition, or at any time when asbestos materials may be moved or disturbed, there is a risk that fibres are being released into the air. The process tests for such respirable fibres in the air so as to properly assess exposure levels and risks, and the effectiveness of control measures.
Analysis of these fibres can be complex; there is a presumption that all fibres of a certain geometry observed under a phase contrast microscope are asbestos, but further testing can often be required to confirm the exact chemical composition, a process carried out using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) test equipment.
Air testing is always carried out as part of any of our asbestos removal services as a safety and environmental check that our control measures are fully effective; it becomes a mandatory requirement under legislation any time that removed asbestos is friable; that is, easily crushed and turned into a powder that can easily release fibres into the air.