Know More about HSE Construction Inspections and Asbestos Surveys

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Know More about HSE Construction Inspections and Asbestos Surveys


Health and Safety Executive Construction inspectors and asbestos surveys

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Construction inspectors are carrying out an intensive inspection initiative during February and March 2012, focusing on the refurbishment/building site risks that make construction one of most dangerous industries – risks associated with disturbing/working on and the removal of asbestos, working at height safely, good order on site are some of the things that are being looked at closely.

With more than 4,500 people dying each year from asbestos-related diseases, and a figure which is expected to rise to more than 10,000 deaths annually by 2020, the HSE is paying particular attention on steps taken to identify Asbestos containing materials during refurbishment and demolition works.

Builders and contractors are finding that they are receiving more and more surprise visits from HSE Construction Inspectors to check that site procedures and safety is being conducted correctly and that any poor practice that is putting the lives of workers and the public at risk is addressed. The HSE have made it known that they will not hesitate to take action in any such circumstance. In most cases work will be stopped until a valid asbestos survey report as been produced. Due to the fact that that building contractors are working to tight budgets and even tighter deadlines as a result of the current economic climate this can be a major disruption to all parties involved.

It will generally be the owner of the building or those working as their representatives that will be asked to produce information showing that valid steps have been taken to identify any possible Asbestos Containing material (ACMs). In addition it is the responsibility of those in charge that are contracted to carry out works on any project to question if there is valid and accurate asbestos report available. It should be noted that the correct asbestos survey report should be available.

Where any major refurbishment or demolition works are being undertaken it is recommended that a Refurbishment/Demolition Survey is carried out prior to the commencement of any such project.
What is the purpose of a Refurbishment /Demolition Survey?

This survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out as a requirement under Construction (Design and Management) Regulations stated in the guidance for Regulation 4 in Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006).

This however is one of the first steps for the duty holder to comply with the HSE for Regulation 4 ‘The Management of Asbestos in Non-Domestic Premises’ of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006).

This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to access. A refurbishment and demolition survey may also be required in other circumstances, e.g. when more intrusive maintenance and repair work will be carried out, and for instances of plant removal or dismantling.

Will my premises contain asbestos?

As a rule any building built before 2000 could potentially contain asbestos and unless the building owner has the specific details of materials used within the construction of the building or knows 100% that there is no possible way that any asbestos containing material was used anywhere within the building during construction or throughout its history it would be a good idea to have an asbestos survey conducted.

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