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Asbestos Surveys

Introduction

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc). We have a page dedicated to finding asbestos if you require further information.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

The duty to manage asbestos is directed at those who manage non-domestic premises: the people with responsibility for protecting others who work in such premises, or use them in other ways, from the risks to ill health that exposure to asbestos causes.

The duty to manage definition:

  • The duty to manage asbestos is a legal requirement and is contained within regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. It requires the person who has the duty (ie the ‘dutyholder’) to:
  • Take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in non-domestic premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
  • Presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
  • Make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos- containing materials – or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos
  • Assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials identified
  • Prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
  • Take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • Periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date
  • Provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them

The simplest way to conform with the above is to conduct an Asbestos Survey. If you are unsure if you have the duty to manage asbestos please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Asbestos is West Four’s main area of expertise. We are familiar with all types of property whether it be residential, commercial, or heavy industry. Our consultants and surveyors have over 100 + years of experience between them. We regularly consult with our partners at the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and closely follow best practice suggested by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure quality is delivered in everything we do. We have an external audit team that regularly review our surveying and reporting practices. We also implemented a software system called “Tracker” provided by Start Software circa 2015 to enable us to deliver high quality accurate reports.

We offer a nationwide service, although London is predominantly our area of work.

The tabs below should help you identify the type of Asbestos Survey that you will require.

An Asbestos Management Survey is the standard minor intrusive (without causing damage) survey. Its purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs (Asbestos Containing Materials) within the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy/use. The extent of inspection will vary between premises, and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties. The survey will also usually involve sampling and analysis to confirm the presence or absence of ACMs. For areas that are hard to reach (generally above 3M) or where it may be hazardous to do so (a live lift motor for example) our surveyor may use presumptive techniques.

This type of survey is generally instructed so that the “Duty Holder” can comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and is associated with non domestic/commercial premises. It can also be, and is often used for pre-purchase of domestic property although there is no legal requirement to carry out an Asbestos Management Survey to domestic property unless there is demolition or refurbishment involved.

West Four’s survey report format is written to a high standard using guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE HSG264 – The Survey Guide) along with additional guidance from The British Occupational Hygiene Society of which we are an affiliate member. It will include:

  • Sample analysis carried out by an independent UKAS accredited laboratory
  • Full photographic templates of each material suspected or proven to contain asbestos
  • Reproduced professional 2D CAD plans of the site with indicative sample locations, types, and extents of asbestos (where applicable)
  • Easy to understand recommendations with priority/risk assessments
  • Asbestos register

Once the survey is complete we are able to provide free written quotations through our in house team and trusted external partners to either remove or remediate your asbestos.

All of West Four’s Surveyor/Consultants hold a minimum of 10 Years surveying experience within the Industry.

Often referred to as “R&D Asbestos Surveys”, Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys are required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.

This type of survey is used to locate and quantify, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs within the building or area which can or may be affected during the proposed works. This type of survey will be disruptive and fully intrusive which will likely need to penetrate all parts of the building structure. Aggressive inspection techniques will be needed to lift carpets and tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors. As this type of survey is fully intrusive it is recommended that it is not undertaken in a property that is occupied or due to be reoccupied after the survey has been completed. Electrical, mechanical and gas services should be isolated to enable the surveyor to access all areas. If this is not possible presumptive methods may be used or no access areas listed. Generally this is not looked upon favorably by an organisation such as the HSE and therefore every effort should be made to access all areas.

West Four’s survey report format is written to a high standard using guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE HSG264 – The Survey Guide) along with additional guidance from The British Occupational Hygiene Society of which we are an affiliate member. It will include:

  • Sample analysis carried out by an independent UKAS accredited laboratory
  • Photographic templates of each material suspected or proven to contain asbestos
  • Reproduced professional 2D CAD plans of the site with indicative sample locations, types, and extents of asbestos (where applicable)
  • Easy to understand recommendations and priority/risk assessments
  • Asbestos register

All of West Four’s Surveyor/Consultants hold a minimum of 10 Years surveying experience within the Industry.

6 million

tonnes of asbestos were imported into the UK since the turn of the century

5000 killed

Asbestos is a Class 1 carcinogenic substance which still kills around 5000 workers each year in the UK alone, this is more than the number of people killed on the road.

Asbestos

can be found in any building built before the year 2000

Survey & Assessment Timeline

Web, Email or Telephone enquiry

Relevant information collected about the Size/Type/Location of your property and the service required I.E: Asbestos Refurbishment Survey of a 2000 Sq Ft Commercial Building in Chiswick constructed 1960.

Quotation

Quotation provided, and indication given of when we may be able to visit site. All quotations are all inclusive unless specifically stated otherwise. VAT is excluded and will be applied to the quoted figure on the Invoice. There are no hidden fees.

Instruction to proceed

Client to provide written instruction to proceed by email. This should detail your full name or your organisations full name, a site contact, and most importantly a correct site address and postcode. This is effectively your order.

Site Visit

A site visit date and time arranged with the client. Consultants usually conduct site work between 9-3pm after which they return to our Offices to compile paperwork and post any samples collected. Out of hours site visits can be arranged with prior agreement, but may attract an additional fee. If we are collecting and returning keys on your behalf, this may be subject to a £25 + VAT charge depending on location.

Inspection

Where an Asbestos Survey has been conducted, and samples have been taken, we usually expect results from our UKAS accredited external lab typically within 48 working hours. We are dependent on Royal Mail 1st Class Post, and the Laboratories capacity to analyse the sample/s taken. This may differ during busy periods such as school holidays.

Report

Reports are usually written within 3-5 working days from the initial site visit. Again this may vary depending on availability of results from the lab if you have instructed an Asbestos Survey. If your report is required same day/next day this is possible, but will need to be discussed with the consultant dealing with your enquiry. The report will be distributed by email in PDF format.

Invoice

If you do not hold an account with West Four, you will be asked to pay for the report/s prior to their release. We do not ask for money up front. If your report/s are urgent, please ensure the consultant is aware and we will get an Invoice over to you as quickly as we can.

Payment

At this time we do not accept card payments. Our Bank details can be found at the bottom of your Invoice. It is essential that you make a payment reference when paying online. Usually this will begin with a “L”.

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