Asbestos Surveying Part 5: How to use the information in a survey report

The survey has been done. The survey report has been issued…. Now it is time to absorb, digest, and interpret all the information.

Remember; the survey report needs to meet both the requirements of the customer, and comply with any contractual/legal obligations. The survey should be fit for purpose, and you should always check that this is the case. Therefore you should always examine the report and carry out a number of checks to make sure that the survey has been adequate, and that the report is suitable and accurate.


Accuracy of Survey Report: What and How To Check It


As a general overview, when checking a survey report you should review the following points:

• Check the report against the original scope of works/survey specification
• Check for any unagreed caveats or disclaimers
• Check the survey is as requested: Management or Refurbishment/Demolition (or a combination)
• Check Diagrams and Plans are clear and accurate
• Check all rooms and areas have been accessed
• Check sufficient samples have been taken and that sample numbers are not disproportionate
• Check for any obvious discrepancies and inconsistencies

** The information in the survey report should be used to form the Asbestos Register - which is a key component of the Asbestos Management Plan (AMP). The survey report itself will generally not be the asbestos register.

What Is The Asbestos Register


The Asbestos Register will be a simpler document and will not contain the majority of the information held within the survey report. It is a ‘live’ or ‘living’ document which MUST always contain the current information on the presence and condition of any asbestos or suspect materials. The document needs to be regularly updated. This will be the ultimate responsibility of the duty holder and will include:

  • Deletions to the register when asbestos has been removed
  • Additions to the register when new areas are sampled
  • Changes to the register if the condition of the ACM’s has altered on rechecking

The Asbestos Register can be in hard copy (paper-form) or electronic document/database. Either way, it should be kept up to date, conveniently located, and accessible to all who may require it – including employees.

There are clear benefits to a Asbestos Register being in hard copy as well as in electronic form. It is down to the duty holder to decide which is best suited to them and their buildings. Generally speaking the trend in the UK is that more and more registers are being generated electronically through databases, with hard copies being issued to contractors on site as and when required. The distribution and circulation of the document will need to be managed carefully to ensure that only the latest version of it is being used/referred to.

The Asbestos Register should be available to those who plan or initiate maintenance and related works, so it can be consulted before any works are authorized. This should be done for all works where the fabric of the building may be disturbed or involve the building services. This includes simple and short duration works as well.

Information on the presence of asbestos should be passed to the contractors as early as possible so that appropriate precautions, procedures and controls can be employed. Supplying the information to contractors upon arrival on site is unlikely to provide them with sufficient time to put the correct control arrangements in place. Therefore, always provide the information at the earliest opportunity available.

So there you have it! For those of you who have been on this journey with us from the start, you will hopefully feel your understanding of Asbestos Surveying has improved. During this educational adventure you should have built a greater appreciation of the reasons we have such surveys, and the different types; what’s involved in the preparation and planning stage and how to actually do the survey. In addition, you more confidentially know what to expect in a survey report, and how to interpret and use the information within to create your property’s Asbestos Register.

……………Next time we will be discussing the importance of Re-Inspection Surveys. We hope you’ll all join us for that. Until then take care.