Welcome back! If you are reading this, then hopefully you found Asbestos Surveying Part 1: A Beginner’s Guide to Surveying useful. If you haven’t read it yet, we strongly recommend reading it first, and then returning to this afterwards.


For the rest of you, let’s continue the journey in understanding asbestos surveying a little better…. There is still plenty more to learn!


The key to an effective survey is the planning. The degree of planning and preparation required will depend on the extent and complexity of the building. The survey is not simply about turning up to site and undertaking samples. There needs to be a clear understanding of exactly what is required by all parties involved.


What the surveyor will need from the customer/duty holder prior to starting a survey:

  • Details of the buildings or parts of the building to be surveyed and survey type(s)
  • Details of buildings use, processes, hazards, priority areas
  • Plans, documents, reports and surveys on design, structure and construction
  • Safety and security information e.g. fire alarm testing
  • Access/Egress arrangements and permits
  • Contacts for operational or health & safety issues.


What the customer/duty holder should expect from the surveyor undertaking a survey:

  • Surveyor(s) identification, qualifications, accreditations and certification, quality control procedures
  • References from previous work
  • Insurance (Professional indemnity cover)
  • Costs
  • Proposed scope of work
  • Plan of work, including plan for sampling or asbestos disturbance
  • Timescale/Timetable
  • Details of any caveats
  • Report, including areas not accessed/not surveyed


Planning Questions customer / Duty Holder should be asking?

  • Why the survey is needed
  • What type(s) of survey is needed
  • What information must the survey capture and provide
  • What format do they want the report in (asbestos register/drawings/electronic/printed etc.)
  • What information the surveyor will require




It is essential that the surveyor collects all the necessary relevant information to plan the survey to ensure that the survey is completed efficiently, effectively and safely; and that it meets the customers’ requirements as well as HSE guidance standards.


The ideal scenario is that a preliminary site visit is arranged prior to any works commencing. This can be extremely valuable in the planning stage. It’s a great opportunity to identify any potential issues or problems in advance, familiarize with the premise layout, and appreciate extent of sampling . Pre-visits are not always possible or financially viable, but are highly recommended – especially for larger or more complex surveys.


In a nutshell, the surveyors planning procedure before the survey commences breaks down into the following four key areas:
  1. Collection of relevant information to plan survey
  2. Consideration of all the information (known as a Desk-Top-Study)
  3. Preparation of a Survey Plan (scope of the works, survey procedure, personnel and safety issues, reporting etc.)
  4. Conducting a risk assessment for the survey (any hazards, working at height, confined spaces, etc.)


We appreciate, and hope, that some of you reading this, would like to learn about the four key surveyor planning procedures in detail. We promise to supply a more in depth article on this particular topic at a later date – so keep an eye out for it. Until then, fingers crossed you have found this read helpful.



If you believe your commercial or private property may have asbestos, you have a responsibility to manage it. ESSS, a UKAS and ISO accredited asbestos consultancy, is equipped to determine the extent of your asbestos situation and develop a plan for the management and/or removal of it. Contact us today at 01268 755 464 or by visiting http://www.esss.co.uk/.


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