What Exactly Is an Asbestos Survey?
The mysterious asbestos survey and what is it? What is it for? When should it occur? In the U.S. there is not a specific asbestos survey guide similar to what is used in the UK. The UK is far more advanced with their rules and regulations than most countries. For people, companies and industry it may be to their advantage to take note of some of the UKs asbestos requirements.
Asbestos Survey Types
There are two classifications in the new guide referred to as management surveys. The old guide had 3 types of surveys and type 1 and type 2 are replaced with the Management Survey. The standard asbestos survey is for the purpose of locating where if any is the material and an evaluation of the condition. The management survey can presume the presence or absence of asbestos and also verify by sampling and testing.
The type 3 survey is replaced with the Refurbishment and Demolition Survey which locates and describes where the ACMs are located in the refurbishment area. In the case of demolition the whole building is surveyed for ACMs.
The asbestos survey process is something that is needed in the U.S. that is not in place yet. In the UK the dangers of asbestos exposure is well known so business and industry have started taking steps to protect their employees. More so in the older buildings where the hazards have not been verified yet the asbestos survey is performed to identify them. The survey is designed to identify ACMs so that they can be safely be removed in the preparations for the refurbishment or demolition.
The UK Asbestos Survey Guide HSG264
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The HSG264 asbestos survey guide can be downloaded for free or bought via the official HSE UK Government website. The guide contains the procedures for surveying and sampling non-commercial and commercial properties.
The publication contains a lot of high quality information like verifying the competence of the organization you will hire to perform the survey. In the U.S. a licensed asbestos abatement contractor is used to seal or remove and also for inspections. Asbestos contractors still need the license to prove competence to do the job.
The certification is much more in depth in the UK requiring the companies and organizations that do surveys to prove competence. They are required to get accreditation via ISO/IEC 17020. The individual asbestos survey personnel can also prove competence with certification from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) via ISO/IEC 17024. The contractor cannot assign a surveyor that is not certified or competent.
The asbestos survey is compulsory for any interior or exterior building materials. The report that is generated is kept on the work site where any demolition or renovations are being performed. The UKs asbestos survey is performed by an asbestos hazard emergency response act (AHERA) certified building inspector.
The survey contains the identification of the materials that have asbestos in them. The survey also contains a graphic representation of the location including the quantity of asbestos materials from where samples were taken. The condition of the materials such as friability of the materials that contain asbestos is described in the asbestos survey.
What really makes all this extra work so very important is the fact that asbestos in old construction is highly dangerous. If people come in contact with such a dangerous substance serious health problems occur. The dangers to the health of the individual are lung diseases, cancer, asbestosis and breathing problems and disorders. Hiring a contractor to perform and asbestos survey is an excellent down payment in safeguarding the health of others.