Any work that will disturb or alter a building’s fabric or services should be assessed against available asbestos information to understand (i) whether known or suspected ACMs could be disturbed by the proposed works, and (ii) whether sufficient survey information is available to make that assessment.
The asbestos register
The asbestos register is a record of known and suspected ACMs within the building. It is based on a full building management survey, and should be used to provide information on the location of ACMs to those who may be affected – for instance to ensure minor one-off work, or regular maintenance, will not disturb ACMs. In addition to the building asbestos register you can find PDF plans showing which spaces have ACMs, and a copy of the latest management survey report for the building.
Examples of work that should be covered by the information in the register include:
- fixing to walls (noticeboards, brackets, shelving);
- simple cable installation using existing holes and containment;
- limited redecoration; and
- regular PPM inspection (eg to fire alarms or emergency lighting).
The register will not usually provide sufficient information on asbestos for projects that involve refurbishment or demolition. In such cases a more comprehensive project-specific survey must be undertaken – see R&D surveys below.
If there is doubt whether information in the register or supporting management survey is sufficient, or if you have any difficulty accessing the asbestos register for your building, please contact the Estates Compliance team who will be happy to help.
Asbestos refurbishment and demolition (R&D) surveys
A more comprehensive asbestos survey, known as refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey, is required for any planned project that could disturb ACM, in any building whose construction began before November 1999 (when the use of asbestos was finally banned in construction).
Examples of projects that need an R&D survey include:
- office refurbishments;
- demolition of partitions;
- removal and/or installation of mechanical and electrical services; and
- repurposing of space.
Some minor planned projects may be covered by an existing management or R&D survey. This assessment must be made by a member of Estates Services Compliance team.
If construction of the building in which the project is planned began after January 2000 a survey is not required.
The guidance document on accessing asbestos consultancy services details the process and timescales involved.