Note: Although we do carry out presumptive asbestos management surveys, we would, in almost all cases, recommend that clients undertake a sampling asbestos management survey.
The purpose of the presumptive asbestos management survey is to locate, as far as reasonably practicable, the presence and extent of any suspect asbestos containing materials in the building and assess their condition.
An experienced, well-trained surveyor, familiar with the range of asbestos products, can usually, by inspection alone, say that a material can be ‘presumed’ to contain asbestos.
However, it much more difficult for asbestos surveyors to presume that some materials do not contain asbestos. Many materials such as vinyl floor tiles have exactly the same appearance whether they contain asbestos or not.
This means that a presumptive survey may well list many materials that are presumed to contain asbestos that would be eliminated from the asbestos register by laboratory analysis of representative samples of the materials.
A presumptive survey essentially defers the need to sample and analyse for asbestos (or the absence thereof) until a later time prior to any disturbance of the material by demolition, alteration or maintenance.
The duty holder bears the potentially significant additional costs of management for some non asbestos containing materials. Our experience suggests the additional cost of management of the non asbestos containing materials usually outweighs the additional cost of a sampling asbestos management survey with representative sampling of such materials for laboratory analysis.
All areas are accessed and inspected as far as reasonably practicable (eg above false ceilings and inside risers, service ducts, lift shafts, etc) or where not accessible will be presumed to contain asbestos.
Any material which can reasonably be expected to contain asbestos will be presumed to contain asbestos, and where it appears highly likely to contain asbestos, there will be a strong presumption that it does.