Inspection for Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)
Prior to commencing any survey Duty Holders should refer to building plans and any supporting information, such as builders' invoices, to determine if and where asbestos had been used in the construction or refurbishment of the building. Also, where appropriate, consult other parties, such as architects, employees and safety representatives who may be able to provide further information. They have a duty to co-operate with the duty holder.
The survey and the findings of the survey must include a record of all areas within the relevant building/location. It is no longer sufficient to record only those areas with ACMs or presumed ACMs. This enables positive identification of risk and provides a base for monitoring and managing future deterioration and damage. The following information should be noted:
- location, amount and condition (and if possible the type) of the ACM
- how much ACM is present?
- Is there a potential danger of asbestos dust - in a (current) state of undisturbance or in the event of being disturbed?
- how accessible is the ACM?
Depending on the age, size and nature of the premises under your "control", and whether or not you have maintenance/repair or refurbishment work planned it may be appropriate for you to carry out your own initial inspection. To assist with this download the Initial Damage and Disturbance Inspection form. If in any doubt of the extent of ACMs seek a professional survey. The time between inspections will depend on the type, condition and location of the ACMs, but should be at the least every 6 to 12 months.
If there are areas of the premises you are unable to inspect, such as roofs, heating ducts, behind ceiling tiles and partitions you must presume the presence of ACMs (unless you have strong evidence) and record these.
Do not break or damage material to try to identify it. Samples should only be taken by suitably licensed asbestos contractors.