HSE Issues New Asbestos Removal Survey Guidelines

The UK Health and Safety Executive has released a new guide to surveys on asbestos removal with changes aimed at detecting asbestos, making it harder for the hazardous material to be ignored on site and thus cutting the health risks of anyone in close vicinity to it.

HSE's new guidelines have done away with the old Survey Type 1, 2, and 3, replacing those with the more comprehensive Management Survey and Refurbishment and Demolition Survey.

According to TopAsbestosRemoval.co.uk, a Manchester, England-based company that specializes in asbestos removal and disposal, the new legislation is designed "to combat those sites that were not receiving the full and proper asbestos surveys. Contractors either were confused as to what type of survey to carry out or were picking a lesser survey in order to cut costs and save time. This created a breach of duty of care, and could possibly cause problems later on down the line. The new survey guide eliminates this problem by thorough checks on properties and buildings. It also makes planning a lot more comprehensive and cuts any risks to health."

Management Surveys are required for the normal occupation of a building in order to ensure continued management of asbestos containing materials within the structure. This type of survey highlights the presence and location of the asbestos containing materials and whether they pose a risk at any time. Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys will be required if a building is to be upgraded, refurbished, or demolished. All asbestos within the building will need to be detected, and, according to TopAsbestosRemoval, which says it has already implemented the new methods, the survey is fully intrusive and can be disruptive. "However, the new guidelines make sure that employees' health and welfare is protected at all times and keeps unnecessary exposure to asbestos at a minimum," the company added.

For more information about the new guidelines, visit www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/index.htm.

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