Asbestos Surveys

As part of the forthcoming Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, there is an implicit duty for people in control of a place of work - to identify asbestos in the workplace (either by presumption or by an asbestos survey), to manage the risks from asbestos with an adequate documented management plan, and to regularly review the management plan.

The person with management or control of a workplace will need to provide this information to those who occupy the premises (including worker representatives) or those who may carry out work that may disturb the asbestos.

HSWA Asbestos Regulation 2016

The standard management survey is undertaken to locate as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building, which might be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy, including foreseeable maintenance and installation, and to assess their present condition. The findings of the management survey form the basis of the property’s asbestos register.
Following completion of your management survey, you will be provided with a comprehensive report detailing the location and properties of any asbestos located, or presumed within the building.
This will enable you to decide whether to manage any ACMs found, or whether to have them removed. If you choose to manage any existing ACM’s, you will require an annual re-inspection survey. The re-inspection survey monitors the condition of the ACMs identified in your original survey, and updates the register to continue to remain compliant.
Management surveys will often involve minor intrusive work and some disturbance. The extent of intrusion will vary between premises and depend on what is reasonably practicable for individual properties, i.e. It will depend on factors such as the type of building, the nature of construction, accessibility etc. A management survey will include an assessment of the condition of the various ACM's and their ability to release fibres into the air if they are disturbed in some way. This "material assessment" will give a good initial guide to the priority for managing ACM's as it will identify the materials that will most readily release airborne fibres if they are disturbed.
Management surveys will generally cover routine and simple maintenance work. However where more extensive maintenance or repair work is involved a refurbishment survey will be required.

A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition takes place on buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000. 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. 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 or plant removal or dismantling.
Asbestos refurbishment surveys are fully intrusive and involve destructive inspection methods, as necessary, to gain access to all areas, including those that may be difficult to reach. Aggressive inspection techniques maybe required to lift up carpets and floor tiles, break through walls, ceilings, cladding and partitions, and open up floors. Asbestos refurbishment surveys should generally only be completed in unoccupied areas. The purpose of this is to minimise risks to the personnel on the premises. Where practicable to do so, the building or area should not be operational and all furnishings vacated.

As most demolition and refurbishment works are time critical, Fibresafe NZ has developed its approach to include project specific intrusive surveys to speed the process and reduce the cost project completion.
Working collaboratively alongside your refurbishment or demolition teams, our consultants survey only the specific areas where works are planned to be undertaken and produce a survey report together with marked-up plans identifying the scope and specification of any items for removal (where required).
Restricting the areas surveyed to those specifically affected by the works means that costs and timescales can be kept to a minimum and ensures that the project can completed safely and as efficiently as possible without unnecessary delay to completion or risk of discovering any untimely surprises.

As part of a controlled regular asbestos management programme, Fibresafe NZ consultants can re-inspect any previously surveyed premises, to update the information held on the asbestos register. Re-inspection schedules can be tailored to your specific requirements which we will establish with you. Where necessary, we can handle discussions with Worksafe NZ on your behalf.
As part of the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, the Asbestos Management Plan should be reviewed and records updated accordingly. This should occur if a control measure has been changed and at least each five years.
Over time, asbestos-based products can degenerate, weather or be accidentally damaged thereby causing the risks associated with the material to change substantially. We can advise on or supply efficient methods for complying with this requirement.
Our approach, procedures and checks ensure this is not an overly costly or time-consuming task. We recommend that re-inspections are carried out every 6-12 months.