Survey Types

Asbestos Survey Types

Duty holders have an obligation to identify asbestos containing materials, to monitor their condition and to inform anyone that is likely to come into contact with them, during their normal jobs, about the existence of said materials. In order to do this you must have a qualified surveyor conduct line of two (or more properly, three) types of asbestos survey.

The most basic type is the asbestos management survey. You may hear some people refer to these by their old name, Type 2 (Type 1 was merely a visual inspection without sampling). The scope of this type of survey covers materials that are likely to be disturbed during normal occupation and maintenance. In most cases that means just surface materials but could also encompass ceiling voids where caretakers are required to access light-fittings, for example. The survey will normally be non-invasive and damage limited to the taking of small samples of suspected materials.

The next two types are often referred to as the same thing. You may hear people use the old term, Type 3, or Refurbishment and Demolition (or Refurb & pre-demolition). Often this is shortened to just R&D survey. In fact they are two distant types of survey.

The Refurbishment survey must be carried out when any work is conducted that might disturb the fabric of the building, for example knocking a wall through or replacing a ceiling. These surveys are more invasive as the surveyor is required to look beyond the surface materials to see if anything else lurks be hid, above or below them.

A Demolition survey is exactly what it sounds like. Where part or all of a site is to be demolished the a surveyor will be required to ensure that none of the fabric of the building contains asbestos. This is the most invasive survey type.

The HSE’s guidance for surveying states that any report following these surveys must state which of the three types it is clearly. As a duty holder it is your responsibility to ensure that you know what you need and that you get it. HSG264 Asbestos: the Survey Guide is for Duty Holders and not just surveyors, hence it is not called “The Surveyor’s Guide”.

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