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“I don’t have an asbestos survey – do I need one?”

July 20, 2016

A recent press release following an audit by the Health & Safety Executive reminds us of the harsh reality surrounding asbestos and the consequences of ill-management towards asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

Network Rail was served with a ‘Notification of Contravention’ detailing 3 material breaches following an audit of building works at one of their station properties. Notable amongst these breaches was a failure to carry out a refurbishment and demolition asbestos assessment in advance of intrusive construction works. This had the potential to lead to the inadvertent disturbance of asbestos, thereby exposing the workforce to airborne asbestos fibres.

The Control of Asbestos Regulation (CAR) requires that before carrying out any work involving the potential disturbance of asbestos, you should find out if the part of the building likely to be disturbed contains asbestos, and if so, the type and condition. If no records are available, or there are doubts about their accuracy/relevance, you may need to arrange a survey and analysis of representative samples to determine the presence, type and condition of the ACM. Not all asbestos has to be removed, as there are simple and clever ways of managing the control of ACMs which you will find out from an asbestos management survey.

Angelina Sooren, Group Compliance Director, comments on the incident: “This highlights the seriousness of asbestos and the importance of its management. You must ensure that you have an Asbestos Survey carried out if your building was built before 2000 as there may well be ACMs present. You should always request to see the asbestos survey prior to starting any work activities that may disturb asbestos within a building.”

Churchill can offer you a full suite of compliance-based services to ensure total alignment with all existing and impending guidelines, regulation and legislation. Should you wish to speak to one of our technical experts please contact Churchill Complete Compliance on 01582 760055 ext. 2601 or alternatively email completecompliance@churchillservices.com.