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When do you Need an Asbestos Survey?

Paul King
January 31, 2020

If you manage a commercial property, you have an obligation and duty of care to protect your workers from health issues related to Asbestos.

Why are Asbestos Surveys Required?

The government banned Asbestos in 1999. Before that, many building materials contained asbestos since the 1950s. It still causes deaths in the UK, mainly affecting tradesmen such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians who have more likelihood of exposure.

This Asbestos Knowledge Empire podcast explains how asbestos was commonly mined and used in building materials. I’d suggest checking out the other podcasts by these chaps if you want to know more about the industry.

What Does Government Legislation Say?

Unlike other hazardous materials, COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) does not regulate the control of asbestos. Specific regulations govern the use of asbestos.

Duty holders are required to have a record of known or presumed asbestos, according to the 2012 Control of Asbestos Regulations. The UK government Health and Safety body, HSE, recommends you employ a licensed contractor to carry out this work, and there is no shortage of asbestos surveying companies available to choose.

HSE recommends that you employ a UKAS accredited surveying company to perform the survey, to ensure your surveyor is competent.

When is an Asbestos Survey Required?

To Fulfil Your Duties as a Duty Holder

If you manage a commercial building constructed or altered before the year 2000, and there is no existing asbestos record, then you will need to carry out an asbestos management survey. If you do not check for asbestos fibres, then you risk penalties or jail time.

Pre-Demolition Survey

When a building is due to be demolished, a pre-demolition or refurbishment survey is required.

A pre-demolition survey ensures you remove asbestos from the site before the demolition works commence.

Just like an asbestos management survey, the purpose is to identify asbestos. However, instead of identifying asbestos for monitoring purposes, the end goal is to remove the asbestos.

After the survey, the site must be classified as 'fit for reoccupation' before further work commences.

The Future of the Industry

The asbestos surveying industry is likely to be around for many more years.

Companies like Lucion Environmental have prospered due to the regulatory nature of this sector. These companies have used asbestos software platforms such as Lucion NexGen to maintain fast growth and protect their profits margins.

Since the requirements for asbestos surveying stay reasonably constant, companies need to look at ways to make their survey turnaround faster and their processes more efficient. In this competitive market, companies would do well do observe industry leaders such as Lucion, and try to emulate their behaviour.


Asbestos surveys are needed for a variety of reasons. Duty holders are required to carry out asbestos surveys periodically, or when refurbishment and demolition works are taking place.

You can use modern asbestos surveying apps like Flow Mobile Surveying to record your findings and create a high quality report showing the location of asbestos.

Get in touch for a demo of Flow Mobile Surveying, the fastest surveying app for asbestos.

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