OHMS Asbestos have an expansive knowledge of all facets of asbestos. A primary misconception we identify when partnering with our clients is that there is a common believe that only one type of asbestos survey or register exists and often once a register is developed it is believed that this ultimately covers all legislative duties. This is not the case.
Depending on where the property is within its lifecycle, there are different types of inspection surveys which can be instigated to better facilitate management of the in-situ asbestos. With all engagements we hope to forge a close relationship with you, and we will aim to discuss the various options that are available to you to ultimately manage your asbestos. Our consultants hold or are working towards the internationally recognised BOHS proficiency module P402 ‘Surveying and Sampling for Asbestos in Buildings’.
Asbestos MANAGEMENT SURVEYS
As part of legislative duty it is a requirement to eliminate risks arising from asbestos. A Management survey is the standard survey which assists the person in control of the workplace to manage asbestos in the buildings.
The purpose is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) in a building and to assess its condition. This is in order to prevent damage or disturbance during normal occupancy including any foreseeable maintenance. This type of survey involves a systematic methodical approach to visually inspect all accessible areas within a building and undertake safe sampling of suspected materials. Any areas deemed inaccessible or assumed to contain asbestos must also be documented.
Asbestos Refurbishment / Demolition Survey
An intrusive survey is required prior to any works involving refurbishment or demolition. The purpose of this type of survey is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, ALL Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) in the area where refurbishment or demolition is to be undertaken.
The survey will be fully intrusive and involve destructive inspections being carried out where appropriate to gain access to areas that are difficult to reach or inaccessible during normal occupation. In order to achieve the aim of this survey it should only be undertaken in unoccupied premises and will require the assistance of the building owner or manager and possibly your chosen remediation or asbestos removal contractor.
This type of survey is invaluable to both the property owner and any contractors likely to be involved. First and foremost, the use of this type of survey in addition to a management survey greatly lessens the likelihood or risk of exposure through accidental disturbance of unknown asbestos. Additionally, it also has potential cost saving benefits to you and your subcontractors by helping to reduce potential delays and variations to the scope of works. For example, during a tender phase for the removal of asbestos containing materials a report prepared by a consultant who had greater access to the building and wasn’t left to assume the presence of asbestos containing materials will prove more valuable than a management survey where access was limited.
By establishing a strong relationship with your chosen team and openly discussing potential risks (including un-expected finds) prior to the project commencing you will have a greater chance of reducing risk of exposure to those involved and budgeting for any potential exceedances in your costs. OHMS Asbestos can help in all aspects of this process and are happy to be made part of your team anytime - before, during or after the survey process.
Asbestos Reinspection Survey
The risk assessment following identification of asbestos should be reviewed regularly in accordance with State regulations with the timescales varying between States. The information collected during the management surveys is to be reviewed periodically via a reinspection survey.
The reinspection survey will review the condition of the Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) identified in a previous survey. The frequency should not exceed specified timescales and should also be based on an assessment of the risk. Some ACM that present a higher risk may require a shorter timescale for reinspection. The reinspection will revise where required the information collated within the original risk assessment.
In consultation with you, we can also update the original management survey report or reinspection report (depending upon whether the asset has been surveyed once or several times). This could also be the inclusion of any areas not previously accessed during the creation of the original management survey, with a view to making the asbestos register as robust as possible. OHMS Asbestos can include photographs and drawings as required.
As a value add, OHMS Asbestos can also undertake the legislative requirement of labelling all known asbestos on the site in accordance with AS 1319-1994 Safety signs for the Occupational Environment, at the time of reinspection.
The data collated from either of the above surveys is documented within a register and forms part of an overall asbestos report which OHMS has developed in line with HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide.
Following the completion of a survey, the identified or assumed asbestos is listed within a register document. Asbestos registers are produced in accordance with the requirements of the relevant State or Territory. OHMS Asbestos have developed a register system using HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide.
Asbestos registers must record any asbestos that has been identified or is assumed to be present along with numerous information to build a suitable risk assessment. It must be maintained and be produced in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Asbestos Risk Assessments
A suitable and sufficient risk assessment must be conducted by a competent person to aid in the management of asbestos. Whoever carries out the risk assessment must have a sufficient level of knowledge, training and expertise. This is to make sure that they understand the risks from asbestos to enable them to make informed decisions and identify the appropriate action required to reduce those risks.
OHMS Asbestos have adopted and adapted the risk assessment criteria outlined in HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide from the United Kingdom which involves subjecting the identified asbestos containing materials to classification under a number of parameters to aid in prioritisation of the recommended control measures.
By conducting a material assessment looking at the product type, extent of damage, surface treatment and the asbestos type combined with a priority assessment considering the likelihood of disturbance, extent, location and occupancy it enables personnel from OHMS Asbestos to determine the level of risk for each item of asbestos.
The prioritisation will assist us to aid in your asbestos management by recommending suitable control measures to reflect the potential risks.