The purpose of a demolition survey is to locate all the asbestos in a property (or the relevant part) before work commences.
Demolition surveys should only be conducted in unoccupied areas to eliminate or minimise risks to the public or workers on the premises. Ideally, the building should not be in service and all furnishings should be removed.
The surveyed area must be fit for reoccupation if people are to move back in. This will require a thorough visual inspection and, if appropriate (eg if there was significant destruction), air monitoring. Under no circumstances should workers remain in rooms or areas of buildings when sampling occurs.
Demolition surveys are technically more challenging than Asbestos Management Surveys, as their purpose is to identify all ACM within a particular building area or within the whole establishment, so this can be removed. Many buildings have been individually designed with their own layout and materials. There may have been refurbishments and modifications over the years, with changes and alterations to the building structure and appearance (eg false floors, ceilings and walls, concealed and hidden areas, and surface treatments). Building drawings may not have been updated.
The level of competency and knowledge needed for an Asbestos Demolition Survey is greater than for Asbestos Management Surveys, and the intrusive nature of these surveys presents more health and safety risks.
WHY ASBESTOS SHOULD BE IDENTIFIED AND REMOVED
The Asbestos Regulations require all asbestos likely to be disturbed by demolition work to be identified and removed, so far as is reasonably practicable, before the work commences.