Asbestos Survey

HSE Asbestos Survey

The HSE Asbestos survey ensures that those responsible for non-domestic property meet the minimum legal requirements for the safe management of this material.


The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2006) list the obligations of people to take the expected steps to manage asbestos and take whatever action is necessary to keep it safe. It also states that those who are responsible for property that was built prior to 1999 should assume there is asbestos in their building until there is strong evidence that it isn’t present. In order to comply with these requirements a HSE asbestos survey will often be required.

Why is a HSE Asbestos Survey Required?

Health and safety is a top priority and this is why there is a need for a HSE asbestos survey. We have known the health risks of asbestos for quite some time now, but it will be many years before this risk is completely removed. In the past we used asbestos extensively as a building material and we are paying the price for this now. It hasn’t only been used for buildings though, in fact it was once a component of some household items like oven gloves – it has even been used inside cigarettes. Now that we know the risks though, the use of this material is carefully regulated; this is why the HSE asbestos survey is often a requirement.

When it is intact and undamaged asbestos is a relatively harmless material. It is only when it becomes damaged that the problems start; the asbestos fibres can become airborne and get into our lungs. These nasty fibres have been associated with many diseases including certain types of cancer. There are some claims that up to 50,000 people in the UK alone die each year due to earlier exposure to asbestos. This is why if there is this material in any building a HSE asbestos survey will be required in order to ensure that it is safe.

Do You Require a HSE Asbestos Survey?

If you are responsible for a non-domestic building then you will be required to have an asbestos management plan (assuming that this building is older than 10 years). Those who are homeowners are not legally obliged to have an asbestos management plan but many will want to avail of a HSE asbestos survey to ensure that they and their family is safe from this material.

There are different types of HSE asbestos survey, but to meet the minimum requirements it will be necessary to have a type 2 survey. This involves going to those parts of the building where there is likely to be asbestos and doing an inspection as well as talking samples. The cheapest and easiest survey it the presumptive survey, but this won’t be enough to meet the legal requirements for non-domestic properties – although it might be enough for home owners. If people intend to demolish or do renovations then they will be required to have a full HSE asbestos survey (also known as the type 3 survey).