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Asbestos Survey

The purpose of an asbestos survey

An asbestos survey aims to:

  • provide accurate information on the location, amount and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)

  • assess the level of any damage or deterioration of the ACMs and whether remedial action is required

  • provide information to produce an asbestos register and an asbestos management plan for the premises

  • identify hidden ACMs to be removed before refurbishment work or demolition

There are 2 types of survey – a management survey and a refurbishment or demolition survey.


Both these survey types are likely to require sampling.

Management Survey
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A Management Survey

The main aim of a management survey is to allow you, as the duty holder, to produce an asbestos register and an asbestos management plan.

It will help you manage ACMs during normal occupation and use of the premises.

Areas to be inspected as part of a management survey

A management survey should include an inspection of the following areas:

  • all rooms, corridors, stairs, basements, cellars, underground rooms and undercrofts

  • underfloor coverings, above false ceilings (ceiling voids), lofts, inside risers, service ducts and lift shafts

  • external areas including roofs, soffits, gutters and windows

  • other areas liable to be disturbed by maintenance activities, for example behind access hatches

The value and usefulness of the survey can be seriously undermined if you or the surveyor impose restrictions on the survey scope.

It can mean areas are not inspected for asbestos, for example due to there being no access at the time of the survey. These areas will need to be presumed to contain asbestos and managed accordingly until they can be inspected.

Refurbishment or Demolition Surveys

There is a legal requirement for all ACMs to be removed, as far as reasonably practicable, before major refurbishment or demolition.

This type of survey must locate and identify ACMs, including those hidden within the building fabric, before any structural work begins at the premises or on equipment.

A refurbishment or demolition survey must be carried out by a competent surveyor. It involves destructive inspection and potential asbestos disturbance so the area must be vacated during the survey. The surveyor must confirm it as ‘fit for reoccupation*’ after the survey.

A refurbishment or demolition survey aims to ensure:

  • ACMs are removed, where required, before the work starts

  • nobody will be harmed by work on ACMs in the premises or equipment

  • such work will be done safely by an appropriate contractor

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