Understanding the validity of asbestos surveys is crucial for property owners and managers, especially in the UK where regulations are stringent. The duration of validity depends on the type of survey and ongoing management of asbestos.
Validity of Different Types of Asbestos Surveys
Management Asbestos Survey:
These surveys, required by law for commercial properties built before 2000, do not have a set expiry date. Their validity is indefinite.
However, the accompanying asbestos management plan needs to be updated regularly, at least annually, and more frequently if conditions change.
It is a legal requirement that any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) found must be managed appropriately.
Refurbishment/Demolition Asbestos Survey:
This survey is typically valid for up to 12 months.
It is necessary when there is planned refurbishment, demolition, or significant maintenance work that goes beyond the scope of the original management survey.
The survey must be redone if there have been any changes in the building or its use that might affect the presence and condition of asbestos.
Updating the Asbestos Register
Asbestos Register: This document lists all identified or presumed asbestos in a building. It is produced following an asbestos survey and should be updated regularly to reflect any changes in the building that might affect asbestos risk. This is especially important for refurbishment, demolition, or extensive maintenance work.
Re-inspection: It is recommended that ACMs are re-inspected at least annually to ensure their condition has not deteriorated, and the asbestos management plan and register are updated accordingly.
Legal Requirements and Safety
Compliance: Complying with these guidelines is not only a legal requirement but also crucial for the safety of occupants and workers, especially in older buildings.
Duty to Manage: Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, there is a 'duty to manage' asbestos in non-domestic premises. This duty includes conducting appropriate surveys and maintaining an up-to-date asbestos register and management plan.
For UK property owners, particularly those with buildings constructed before 2000, it's essential to understand the validity of asbestos surveys and the importance of regularly updating asbestos management plans and registers. These steps are vital for compliance with UK regulations and, more importantly, for ensuring the health and safety of all building occupants and workers.