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Survey Types

Asbestos Knowledge Base

Two main survey types are discussed in HSG264, although the start of the survey process would still require the initial "Presumptive survey".

The site is initially surveyed to determine the location of any potential asbestos containing materials. All areas should be accessed and inspected as far as is reasonably practicable. Any area not inspected should be presumed to contain asbestos. Likewise any material which can be reasonably expected to contain asbestos must be presumed to contain asbestos. This survey defers the need to sample and analyse asbestos until a later time which might be prior to demolition or major refurbishment. The essence of the survey is to ascertain the location of any likely ACM. If an area cannot be assessed, because it is inaccessible or the material found is 'unknown' then it must be presumed to be ACM and treated accordingly. Where it appears that material appears to contain asbestos, it should be strongly presumed that it does and further assessments made.

Management survey

The "Management" survey could be carried out at the same time as the first survey or it can be carried out separately after the presumptive survey is complete. Samples from each type of the suspected asbestos containing materials are collected and analysed to confirm or refute the surveyor's judgement. This type of survey would not usually involve any structural work to sample enclosed materials.

Refurbishment and Demolition surveys

This is a comprehensive survey to locate and identify all asbestos containing materials in the building. This type of survey may involve destructive inspection in order to gain access to all areas. A full sampling programme is undertaken and the survey is designed to be used as a basis for tendering the removal of asbestos containing materials before demolition or refurbishment. The type of survey carried out should be identified including the reasons why it was chosen.