HSE Asbestos Survey Guide HSG264 & HSE Managing Asbestos in Buildings Guide INDG223
To: All Branches
HSE Asbestos Survey Guide:
For the information of all Health and Safety Representatives the Health, Safety & Environment Department is circulating two important HSE documents for information and reference purposes, following a number of recent enquiries in relation to the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 connected to Asbestos Surveys and Managing Asbestos in Buildings (the Legal Duty to Manage).
The HSE published the Asbestos Survey Guide HSG264 to replace MDHS 100 in 2010 and updated the Guide in 2012 when the Regulations were revised and updated. A pdf copy is attached.
This is a new-style guide which is a heavily illustrated publication, replacing and expanding on previous documents and covers surveying, sampling and assessment of asbestos-containing materials.
It is aimed both at people carrying out asbestos surveys and people with specific responsibilities for managing asbestos in Workplaces or non-domestic premises under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, as well as others commissioning asbestos surveys, such as social housing providers.
The guidance expands on previous editions, in that it covers competence and quality assurance as well as surveys, including: survey planning, carrying out surveys, the survey report and the dutyholder’s use of the survey information. Some specific changes include: Renaming of survey types. Types 1 & 2 are now known as ‘management’ surveys and Type 3 known as ‘pre-demolition and refurbishment surveys’. Also increased, is the details on these survey types and when they should be commissioned.
Competency is strengthened. This document expressly states that organisations with UKAS accreditation to ISO17020 and individuals with ABICS accreditation should be used, plus surveys should be carried out by BOHS P402 qualified people, with at least 6 months experience (which is currently a UKAS and ABICS requirement). Union Safety Reps will find this useful when it comes to ensuring that the employer is using a competent service to provide their Asbestos survey. For example, further information is contained on employing competent surveyors without any conflict of interest i.e. surveying companies, and highlights risks, such as work at height which should only be carried out by 2-man survey teams, rather than individuals.
The guidance is more user-focussed and explains surveys to those commissioning them, rather than just the surveyor.
Contents of the Guide:
Introduction; Competence and quality assurance procedures; Asbestos surveys; Survey planning; Carrying out the survey; Survey report; Dutyholder’s use of survey information. Supporting the main body of the guide are 8 Appendixes.
The main purpose of an asbestos survey is to make the duty holder and others aware of the locations of asbestos within a building to ensure the safety of employees, contractors and the general public as part of the Duty Holder’s Risk Management Strategy.
There are two types of survey for asbestos containing material (ACM’s) and 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.
This survey is to identify areas of asbestos within a building. This is a non-intrusive survey, which allows the surveyor to visualise areas of asbestos and sample them for analysis. This is the basis for a risk based plan of management, identifying areas that may be a problem during occupancy, including installation of services and maintenance. Once a survey has been undertaken it does not need repeating, but as part of the on-going asbestos management plan there is a requirement to monitor the condition of any ACMs present. Re-inspection surveys are required periodically.
This is required prior to any major refurbishment or demolition works commencing. It is a fully intrusive survey requiring full access to all areas of a building, including service areas. The surveyor will remove areas of ceilings, walls, floors etc to enable him to map and sample areas which may contain asbestos. The samples will then be analysed and a plan made for removal of the asbestos prior to refurbishment or demolition. In both types of survey, a hard report including analysis should be produced. The report will map out the areas of concern and give a plan of action for the client to follow.
What is an Asbestos Management Plan? A written document detailing the measures which are being taken to manage the risk from asbestos containing materials which have been identified in a building.
Managing Asbestos Guide:
This guidance is for, anyone who is responsible for maintenance and repairs in a building, which may contain asbestos. The ‘duty to manage’ asbestos is included in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Who is a ‘dutyholder’ in Law:
The person who owns the building;
The person responsible through a contract or tenancy agreement;
The person who has control of the building but no formal contract or agreement; or
In a multi-occupancy building, the owner and person with responsibility for maintenance and repairs for the whole building.
What buildings are affected?
All non-domestic buildings, whatever the type of business.
The common areas of domestic buildings, eg halls, stairwells, lift shafts, roof spaces.
All other domestic properties are not affected by the duty to manage.
Anyone who is not the dutyholder but has information about the building, must co-operate with the dutyholder, e.g. leaseholders must allow managing Agents access for inspection.
Why manage asbestos?
Asbestos is a serious health risk and breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to deadly asbestos-related diseases. Past asbestos exposure kills around 5000 people a year in the UK. There is usually a long delay between first exposure to asbestos and the onset of disease, varying from 15 to 60 years. Exposure must therefore be prevented. Any buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000 may contain asbestos which by law must be managed, contained and not disturbed or completely removed by experts.
Where is asbestos found in buildings?
Asbestos was used in many parts of buildings and the guide points out common locations where asbestos can be found.
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LTB 132/17 HSE Asbestos Survey Guide HSG264 & HSE Managing Asbestos in Buildings Guide INDG223