5 Tools Everyone in the Asbestos Management Survey Industry Should Be Using
Asbestos is a substance that occurs naturally and the substance was used extensively as a fire retardant in building material prior to 2003. It is still commonly found in roofing, flooring and insulation, although it is not used as extensively as it was in the past. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and when large amounts are discovered in a building, they must be removed by a licensed professional. Prior to removing the asbestos, an asbestos management survey must be performed and there are five tools that an asbestos management survey should use to determine the extent of removal necessary.
Determine if Asbestos is Present
The first tool is to determine if there is asbestos present, which can sometimes be difficult. If the building was constructed prior to 2000, the asbestos management survey will assume that there is asbestos present. The management survey should review building plans, builder invoices and consult with architects or employees. In addition, a thorough inspection should be conducted.
Assessment of ACMs
Another tool used is to assess the amount and condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) which will determine the likelihood of asbestos fiber release. The assessment will determine if the material is damaged, frayed or scratched or if surface sealants are peeling or breaking off. If ACMs are in poor condition, they must be sealed, enclosed or removed.
Survey and Sample
Once ACMs have been identified, samples must be analyzed to determine if asbestos is present. This is the only certain way to determine if there is asbestos present. Be sure that the asbestos management team is accredited or certified for asbestos survey projects and that they have suitable training. It is also important to confirm that they have adequate liability insurance.
The asbestos management survey should provide a written register of the ACMs that were discovered, where they are and what condition they are in. The register should be clear and must always be available for review. It is permissible to store the management survey electronically for easy access.
Plan of Action
The final tool used in an asbestos management survey is to develop a plan of action. If it appears that the ACMs are likely to be disturbed, the management survey should indicate methods for removing the asbestos in order to protect those in the building. High priority should be given to those that are likely to be disturbed by those who are not trained in asbestos removal.