Any man-made structure, commercial building, residential building or house constructed between 1850 and 1999 can still pose a risk to the occupants or workers who live or reside within them. UK Regulations require you to conduct asbestos surveys on buildings constructed within this time period. These surveys are required if you are occupying, buying, selling or demolishing such a building. If there are tenants or people living inside the building, then asbestos surveys are also performed as a health and safety check.
The duty-holder, building owner, employer and surveyor need to be clear on the type of survey needed, where the survey is needed, and what records should result.
The job of an asbestos surveyor is to inspect your building and identify potential asbestos-containing materials. The asbestos fibres themselves cannot always be identified directly because they are microscopic, however, an asbestos surveyor is familiar with the types of building materials that might have asbestos in them, such as flooring tiles, roofing materials, window caulks, and so on.
Once the surveyor has located an asbestos-containing material, a small sample will be taken of each suspect material which will then be analysed at the laboratory for further in-depth analysis. The laboratory will identify the type or types of asbestos present with sample(s), after which a bulk certificate of analysis is produced detailing the laboratory results.
Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are either known to contain asbestos, or presumed to contain asbestos.