Control of asbestos—asbestos surveys
Control of asbestos—asbestos surveys

The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Control of asbestos—asbestos surveys
  • Legal requirements
  • What is a 'suitable and sufficient assessment'?
  • When is an asbestos survey not required?
  • Does the duty apply to domestic premises?
  • Requirements on dutyholders
  • Who is the dutyholder?
  • Types of asbestos surveys
  • Competency of asbestos surveyors

Legal requirements

There is a legal presumption that any non-domestic buildings (and the common parts of domestic buildings) whose construction was completed before 2000 contain asbestos and an asbestos survey will usually be required.

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, SI 2012/632, the ‘dutyholder’ must carry out a ‘suitable and sufficient assessment’ to establish whether asbestos is present in non-domestic premises and the common parts of domestic premises.

The ‘dutyholder’ must also carry out a ‘suitable and sufficient assessment’ before doing any building, maintenance, demolition or other work liable to disturb asbestos.

What is a 'suitable and sufficient assessment'?

The Approved Code of Practice and Guidance L143 states that ‘everything that can reasonably be done must be done’ to establish whether asbestos is present:

  1. all documentary information that can be obtained about the premises should be systematically checked

  2. as thorough an inspection, as is reasonably accessible, of the premises both inside and outside must be carried out—the thorough inspection 'will usually take the form of a survey'

  3. all parts of the premises should be checked, including warehouses, yards, sheds, outbuildings, underfloor services, ducts, corridors, vertical risers, ceiling voids, storerooms, external runs of pipes

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