If you occupy a building built prior to 1999 when all asbestos products were finally banned, there is the possibility that there will be asbestos somewhere in the building, and as the duty holder you have a liability under the new regulations to manage it. See our examples page for some common products using asbestos compounds
Asbestos is lethal - there are arguments over which type is more dangerous - blue, brown, white etc. The fact is that all asbestos represents a significant danger to those who are exposed to airborne asbestos fibers. Symptoms can take between 15 and 60 years to show up, with over 3500 people dying each year from mesotheliomia and other asbestos related lung cancers. This figure is predicted to rise sharply over the next few years as a result of past exposures.
Anyone who works or has worked in contaminated areas eg. electricians, plumbers, carpenters etc. without knowing the future risk to their health. The purpose of the legislation is to protect such people in the future by knowing in advance of any maintenance work, that either the building is safe, or that protective equipment is needed before disturbing asbestos products in the location. It is essential to wear disposable protective clothing and respiratory equipment if contemplating maintenance on asbestos materials, as fibers contained on clothing can represent danger to other members of the family when cloths are removed or cleaned.
No - it is not a requirement under the legislation, however, the legislation requires the survey to be carried out by a competent person. Provided you are able to prove competency, which really means undergoing adequate training with a professional body such as NATAS and obtaining the relevant qualification, you can conduct your own survey and reports. Most small businesses prefer to use a professional survey company such as ARS, because they do not have the necessary skills or man power in house. Larger companies, however, may choose to nominate an employee for training so that he/she can manage the company's asbestos register for it's property.
The surveyor will require access to all parts of the building internally and externally including cupboards and store rooms. In some situations, such as residential homes, it may be required by management that the surveyor is accompanied to each guest room. The survey will start with the surveyor asking questions about the age of the premises, dates of any refurbishment etc. this will give clues about the types of materials that may have been used. A site plan will be marked up to identify sampling positions as the survey progresses. Each area of the building will be inspected in minute detail for signs of asbestos containing materials. Any suspected materials will be noted and samples taken if judged necessary by the surveyor. The survey, if done thoroughly will take a few hours minimum onsite time, to several days on larger projects. Once the site work is over, the surveyor will send samples off for analysis and on return of the results, write the report. Do not be tempted to go for the lowest cost - it is essential that the job is done properly and can't be done in ten minutes!
The cost varies significantly, according to the construction of the building, age, number of rooms, usage size of building etc. and of course the survey type - a Refurbishment or demolition survey will be much more expensive than a management survey, as the work involved is more intrusive and time consuming. ARS will be able to give a firm price once this information is known. Call us now on 01953 604411 or use our quote request form.
No, not necessarily. It depends on the extent and condition of any material found and also the type of product e.g. an old vinyl tile may contain asbestos, but it is encapsulated in resins and would be considered very low risk in normal use. In the main there would be no action required other than to ensure protection is worn during maintenance work. Removal of a material would only be required if the product could not be adequately sealed or encased and if in poor condition likely to release fibers to the environment.