Why is it important to have a Management Survey and Reinspections?
12th Mar 2018, by Mark Elwell
Large amounts of asbestos-containing materials were used for a wide range of construction purposes in new and refurbished buildings until 1999 when all use of asbestos was banned.Where asbestos materials are in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed they do not present a risk. However, where the materials are in poor condition or are disturbed or damaged, asbestos fibres may be released into the air. If these fibres are breathed in they can cause serious lung diseases, including cancers.
To prevent this exposure, information is needed on whether asbestos is, or is likely to be, present in the buildings, so that an assessment can be made about the risk it presents and appropriate measures put in place to manage those risks. This is completed by ensuring you have a compliant asbestos management survey that covers all areas of the building.
An asbestos 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; and
- that nobody disturbs it accidentally
The Survey must locate ACMs 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.
Although an asbestos management survey shows the location and condition of a material, they only do so at that particular point in time. Like all buildings, materials are subject to wear and tear and can become damaged. The difference with asbestos containing materials (ACMs) is that once damaged, they have the potential to release fibres and pose a threat.
Keeping up-to-date with the condition of ACMs is of great importance for ensuring peoples’ safety and well-being. Re-inspections should be carried out every 12 months, materials of higher risk in commonly accessed areas can should be re-inspected more frequently.
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