Asbestos as a material used within construction was widely popular in the UK for many decades. It wasn’t until 1999 that it was finally fully banned and therefore there are many buildings and structures in the UK that have asbestos and asbestos-materials within them. As we move further away from that date, we find that there are many cases where a building is to be demolished or refurbished from a time where asbestos would have been used in the construction process. It is with these types of buildings that you have to be extremely careful, and with an asbestos survey for demolition and refurbishment projects you can ensure that all construction workers and future inhabitants of a building are safe from potential harm.
Asbestos as a material is highly dangerous. If materials containing asbestos are disturbed, asbestos fibres are released into the air. Any person who inhales these fibres are likely to suffer illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Symptoms to not appear with these types of illnesses for many decades in most cases, but when the symptoms finally do appear it is often too late and the illnesses fatal.
It is during construction work that materials containing asbestos are most likely to be disturbed. In a building that is about to be demolished or prepared for a refurbishment project this is the most dangerous time. The asbestos fibres that are released into the air could come into contact with those construction workers present, as well as anyone in the immediate vicinity.
This is why it is vital that as the person responsible for a refurbishment or demolition project that you hire the services of a licensed asbestos survey company. This is a requirement where materials that may contain asbestos are to be disturbed to prepare for refurbishment or demolition. It is fully intrusive as a process, with the building or specific areas being surveyed emptied prior to samples being taken.
The demolition and refurbishment asbestos survey should cover all of the areas on a site where materials will definitely be disturbed, or potentially disturbed, leaving no margin for error. The results of the survey and the sampled materials allow for a project manager and contractors to have a full awareness of what to expect when working on the project, and how to take the necessary and correct precautions. There are always several options open to remove asbestos from a site, but with a project such as this it is important that no person is put at risk of exposure to the deadly fibres.
If asbestos is found it should be removed, with the services of a specialist asbestos removal company used to ensure that all asbestos-related materials are safely removed from the site before any work commences. Always ensure that you are fully covered legally, as the person responsible for a refurbishment or demolition project, and that you are maintaining strict health and safety standards for all contractors who will be working on the site for the duration of the project.