Sounds like a silly question, right? Read on.
It’s all been going so well. The building owner/manager has fulfilled their legal obligation and complied with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. They have had a management asbestos survey carried out, compiled the asbestos register, written and implemented an effective management plan. The asbestos register is held at reception and all contractors who come to the property are asked to read and sign it. Basically, they are 100% compliant. Big tick. Gold star! Certainly better than most. And then…….
It’s Monday morning. The weekend wind and rain have caused minor damage to a section of roof and water has got in. The ceiling is water damaged and in need of repairs. A contractor is summoned and the asbestos management plan kicks in. The contractor is presented with the asbestos register and checks the information for the room he’s working in. The ceiling is described as plaster and is free of asbestos. All clear! So off he goes to affect a repair and take down the damaged section of ceiling.
Problem! The asbestos survey was a management survey and therefore hasn’t inspected inside the ceiling void. It’s outside the scope. Any manner of asbestos containing materials can be concealed within ceiling voids. Pipe insulation, insulation board fire breaks, spray coating to name but a few.
This is exactly the situation that happens on a daily basis up and down the country. It could be the BT guy drilling through a wall to run a new cable, the plumber re-routing a pipe through a floor void, the TV engineer running the cable to the new aerial/dish or the carpenter fixing the new door furniture. All of these can inadvertently be disturbing asbestos that would not have been found in a management asbestos survey. The targeted refurbishment survey is the answer. These can be highly targeted to just the areas that will be effected, be it a single area of floor, a single wall or a single fire door.
Sometimes not fully understanding the scope of the survey you have can be more dangerous than having no survey at all.
Please get in touch if you would like any more information.