The information on this page contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence
Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are either known to contain asbestos, or presumed to contain asbestos.
The purpose of surveying is to make a 'materials assessment', ie
- To find ACM and record what it is, where it is and how much there is
- To record how accessible it is, its condition, and any surface treatment
- To record the asbestos type, by sampling or by presuming
- Click here for detailed guidance on these and on survey strategy, planning, conduct, sampling and reporting
Types of Survey
The duty-holder, building owner, employer and surveyor need to be clear on the type of survey needed, where the survey is needed, and what records should result.
There are two types of survey for ACM
The Management Survey purpose is required to manage ACM during the normal occupation and use of premises. The duty-holder can make a Management Survey where the premises are simple and straightforward. Otherwise, a surveyor is needed.
A Management Survey aims to ensure that:
- nobody is harmed by the continuing presence of ACM in the premises or equipment
- that the ACM remain in good condition
- that nobody disturbs it accidentally
The Survey must locate ACM that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities, by foreseeable maintenance, or by installing new equipment. It involves minor intrusion and minor asbestos disturbance to make a Materials Assessment. This shows the ability of ACM, if disturbed, to release fibres into the air. It guides the client, eg in prioritising any remedial work.
Refurbishment / Demolition Survey
The Refurbishment / demolition Survey is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition. The Survey does not need a record of the ACM condition. Normally, a surveyor is needed for Refurbishment / demolition Surveys.
A Refurbishment / demolition Survey aims to ensure that:
- nobody will be harmed by work on ACM in the premises or equipment
- such work will be done by the right contractor in the right way
The Survey must locate and identify all ACM before any structural work begins at a stated location or on stated equipment at the premises. It involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance. The area surveyed must be vacated, and certified 'fit for reoccupation' after the survey.
Selecting a Competent Surveyor
Accreditation or certification provides clients with an assurance of a surveyor's competence.
- Have survey knowledge, and know the risks in surveying
- Have training and experience, and recognise their limitations
- Use a quality management system
- Show independence, impartiality and integrity
- Do their work in accordance with good practice guidance, eg as in HSG264
Accreditation and good performance in a quality assurance scheme provides an assurance of a laboratory's competence in asbestos analysis. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service, UKAS accredits laboratories. We are a UKAS accredited laboratory.