An Asbestos survey assesses a building to find asbestos containing materials and to assess the risk to persons living or working in the building. The Surveyor will consider the risks in view of the building’s construction or build type, building age as well as modifications and refurbishments since and depending on the type of survey chosen either: report on the presumed or likely risks or take samples which a laboratory will analyse to confirm the presence of asbestos (of which there are 3 types).

Legislation states that the dutyholder, the person or organisation responsible for the maintenance or repair of the building and/or its communal areas MUST identify asbestos, manage that asbestos and provide this information to anyone at risk. This is where Ringley can help.

Ringley can provide 3 types of Asbestos Survey as well as interim monitoring:

  • Asbestos Level 1 Type survey is presumptive and identifies areas of a building that are likely to contain asbestos. The survey assesses the level of risk and possible sources of asbestos.
  • Asbestos Type 2 survey includes taking samples – The presence of asbestos can be confirmed or ruled out after samples undergo lab analysis. This type of survey will also identify the type of asbestos present and the level of risk involved.
  • Asbestos Type 3 survey includes asbestos removal- usually carried out prior to refurbishment in a building or pre-demolition. It includes full access sampling and identification.

Background legislation

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Defective Premises Act 1972 all place legal duties on employers or landlords to protect their employees or tenants in issues of Health and Safety. Asbestos was singled out and has been governed by separate legislation since Crocidolite (‘Blue’ asbestos’) and Amosite (‘Brown asbestos’) were banned in the UK in 1985, and Chrysotile (White asbestos’) in 1999. This means that asbestos could be present in homes and workplaces built before 2000.

What is Asbestos?

A common form of magnesium silicate used in various building and insulation products due to its stability and resistance to fire.

It has been proven that inhaling loose asbestos fibres can cause lung cancer and various other forms of lung disease.

Asbestos removal or encapsulation (by law) must be carried out by a licensed professional.

New regulations to manage health risks associated with asbestos in the workplace come into force from May 21st 2004.

As a result of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 new legal duties have been put in place to manage asbestos in non- domestic premises and the common areas of residential premises. “Common areas” would typically include hallways, stairwells, lift shafts and roof spaces.

What The Dutyholder Must Do

The Dutyholder must:

  • Establish if asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are present in the building and what condition it is in.
  • Assess the risk of damage / fibre release.
  • Create a detailed action plan to manage the risk.

According to the RICS and ARMA Ringley as a Managing Agent is the duty holder over communal areas.The responsibility however remains with the landlord who has a legal duty to allow the dutyholder to carry out an asbestos audit. The end result is a report.

Components of the Asbestos Report

  • Desktop exercise to identify likelihood
  • Agree a strategy/scenario of probability depending on the age of the building, etc.
  • Research other experts etc, who have worked on the building.
  • Inspect target areas.
  • Identify asbestos (blue, brown, white and cement based).
  • Send samples for testing at a laboratory.
  • Write up a strategy.
  • End product including drawings identifying the type of asbestos position and risk.
  • Further information can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) asbestos pages and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)