If any given substance is known to contain asbestos, or if it is assumed that the substance contains asbestos then it is referred to as an ACM (Asbestos Containing Material).

The main reason for carrying our asbestos surveys is to establish a materials assessment. In other words:

To seek out Asbestos Containing Materiels and to make a note of where it is situated, what exactly it is, and how much of it we are dealing with.

To capture information on how accessible the asbestos containing material is, what condition it is in, as well as any information on the treatment of the surface.

To capture the information on the type of asbestos which is done by either sampling or by presuming

The various types of asbestos survey:

It is very important that the exact type of asbestos survey that is required is clear to the duty holder, employer, building owner and the asbestos surveyor.

The following are the two types of survey for asbestos containing materials.

Management Survey: The Management Asbestos Survey is needed to manage Asbestos Containing Materials throughout the typical occupation and usage of a building or premises. The duty-holder can make a Management Survey where the premises are simple and straightforward.

Otherwise, an asbestos surveyor is needed.

The aim of a Management Asbestos Survey is to ensure the following:

that no-one is harmed due to the prolonged presence of Asbestos Containing Materials in the building or within equipment.

that the Asbestos Containing Materials remain in good condition; and

that the ACM is not disturbed by mistake.

The Asbestos Survey must identify Asbestos Containing Materials that could be either damaged or disrupted by every day activities, by foreseeable maintenance, or via the installation of new machinery or equipment. It does of course involve minor intrusion and minor disturbances of asbestos to carry out a Materials Assessment. This shows the ability of Asbestos Containing Materials, if disturbed, to release fibres into the air. It also guides the client, eg in prioritising any remedial work.

Refurbishment or Demolition Asbestos Survey: The Refurbishment or demolition Asbestos Survey is needed where the building, or part of it, needs upgrading, refurbishment or demolition. The Asbestos Survey does not need a record of the Asbestos Containing Materials condition. Typically, an asbestos surveyor is required for Refurbishment and Demolition Asbestos Surveys.The main aims of a Refurbishment or Demolition Survey are as follows:

  • no-one will be harmed by work on Asbestos Containing Materials in the building, machinery or equipment
  • all work will be done by the correct contractor in the correct manner

The Survey must locate and identify all Asbestos Containing Materials prior to any structural work being carried out 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 asbestos survey.