Asbestos Surveys, Sampling and Testing Service
With UKAS accredited laboratories across the UK, ESG can undertake the full range of asbestos surveys adhering to the latest HSE guidance. This includes asbestos bulk sampling and asbestos analysis in accordance with ISO17020 and ISO17025 and the techniques set out in HSG248 and HSG264. Asbestos Management Surveys, Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys, Bulk Asbestos Analysis, Asbestos Statutory Re-inspections.
This is the standard asbestos survey that should be carried out for the continued management of asbestos in premises. The purpose of the survey is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building and assess their condition. Although sampling is the most common approach that has been used for surveys, an asbestos management survey can also involve presuming the presence or absence of asbestos.
An asbestos management survey can therefore be completed, using a combination of sampling ACMs and presuming ACMs or, indeed, just presuming. Any materials presumed to contain asbestos must also have their condition assessed (ie material assessment).
Asbestos management surveys may involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties – agreement on this aspect of the survey should be reached between the client/dutyholder and the surveyor. Factors that can affect the extent of intrusion include the type of building, the nature of construction, accessibility etc.
This survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will involve destructive inspection as necessary, to gain access to all locations, including those that may be difficult to reach. Refurbishment work may vary from relatively small to large projects. Small scale work may occur in different parts of a building at different times over several years. A full asbestos sampling programme is undertaken in these areas to identify possible ACMs and to obtain estimates of the volume and surface area of the ACMs present. The survey is primarily designed to identify ACMs so that they can be removed in preparation for the refurbishment or demolition. Some advice is offered on the types of ACMs that it is permissible not to have removed prior to demolition.
It is possible to use the two survey types in different parts of a building particularly where refurbishment work is in a limited area. Due to the intrusive nature of refurbishment and demolition surveys, it is recommended that the areas affected are not occupied at the time of the asbestos survey taking place.
A representative sample of the material, suspected to be asbestos containing, is collected during the survey.
In the analytical laboratory, this is visually examined, followed by a more detailed examination by stereo microscope. One or more representative sub samples are prepared mechanically and or chemically for further examination. Fibres observed in the course of the examination are categorised tentatively on the basis of morphology and certain physical properties. Each fibre type recognised is sampled by selecting a few fibres or bundles and these are mounted in a refractive index liquid to match the most likely asbestos type. The fibres are then positively identified as one of the six regulated types on the basis of their detailed optical properties using polarised light microscopy.
Additionally, ESG's qualified surveyors will perform a thorough visual inspection of the asbestos containing materials identified in the asbestos register in accordance with ACoP L127. Risk changes are recorded and the management plan updated. Recommendations for new control measures are given where required.