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Your Questions Answered

What is asbestos?

Asbestos would be a great building product were it not for the huge health risks. It has a high resistance to fire and chemicals, asbestos is also an excellent insulator for heat & sound and even has reinforcement properties. Asbestos was the building material of choice in the 1960’s to the mid ‘70’s in the UK – before the potentially deadly properties of asbestos were known.

During this time asbestos was used for a number of jobs such as; floor tiles, pipe lagging, textured coatings, internal partitions, central heating systems, roofs, gutters, rainwater downpipes, cement cladding, fire protection to structural steelwork, fuse boxes, bitumen products and many, many more.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

When asbestos is in good condition, it poses no significant health risks. However, when asbestos containing material is compromised, or materials which readily liberate asbestos fibres are disturbed, major health issues arise.

When disturbed, asbestos releases airborne fibres which can kill. Individuals working in the building and maintenance trades e.g builders, plumbers, electricians, cable installers are at greatest risk from asbestos.

These people are most likely to work on a building without sufficient knowledge as to where asbestos might be and how to avoid it.

Why do we need an asbestos survey?

To protect any person, especially workmen, from accidentally exposing themselves and others to asbestos fibres.

There are many documented instances of builders, plumbers and electricians drilling through innocuous panels, or cutting into pipe insulation, only to discover later that a potentially lethal mistake has been made.

To comply with current legislation and avoid prosecution. The new ‘Duty to Manage’ (Regulation 4) in the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations CAR2006, is specifically designed to tighten up the law to reduce the risk from asbestos material present in buildings.

What if I don’t bother having a survey carried out?

If you are the duty holder for a commercial property you are liable to prosecution. Failure to comply with the new asbestos regulations may also mean that a prohibition notice is placed on your buildings – effectively closing you down until your workplace is confirmed safe.

Can I survey the building for asbestos myself?

Yes – but only if you are suitably qualified to do so. The regulations state that the asbestos survey must be carried out by a competent person. At RP&P Asbestos Services Ltd we have the necessary experience and qualifications to carry out the asbestos surveys safely and competently.

How much will an asbestos survey cost?

That depends on the size and age of your building. We may be able to provide a quote over the phone if you have sufficient information.

Alternatively we can arrange for a free site visit to provide you with a competitive asbestos survey quotation.

Will I be able to understand the asbestos report?

Yes, all our asbestos reports are written with the estates / building manager in mind. We use plain English backed up by the latest software. If there’s anything in the asbestos report that you’re not sure about just ask, we’ll be happy to explain.

Are all asbestos surveys the same?

No, there are two types of asbestos survey:

Management Survey – intended to incorporate all areas which are used on a day-to-day basis encompassing all areas required for access to maintain the building / site.

Refurbishment / Demolition Survey – as the name suggests, intended to identify asbestos containing materials hidden within the fabric of the building which a management survey would not identify. These types of survey can be site wide or project specific.