Informa Markets

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April 20, 2012

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Serious gaps found in asbestos knowledge

The results of a comprehensive survey of the built-environment industry into the level of awareness of asbestos in buildings have uncovered some significant shortcomings in knowledge.

The Great British Asbestos in Buildings Survey 2011 – which was carried out by Asbestos Inspection Bodies – was completed throughout last year by a wide range of professionals, representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the UK. The Asbestos Inspection Bodies initiative is a collaboration aimed at promoting UKAS-accredited organisations among companies who have to commission surveys for asbestos.

Overall, the survey shows that many commercial businesses have asbestos management procedures in place but there are some significant gaps in terms of knowledge of responsibilities, and provision of information and training – a fact supported by the number of people who confirmed that they have disturbed asbestos during their activities. Weaker asbestos management practices were also found to be evident in residential buildings.

Moreover, around 25 per cent of asbestos surveys are not being completed in line with official guidance, according to the survey findings. This, says Asbestos Inspection Bodies, can not only lead to poor-quality surveys but increases the risk of personnel being exposed to asbestos where it has not been properly identified.

To view and debate the findings, visit

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12 years ago

It`s comforting to think that only 1 in 4 Asbestos Surveys is rubbish.

Hopefully my daughter`s school has had a good one undertaken?

And they call themselves a proffessional body, I dispair.

12 years ago

I would say that a Survey that fails to identify ACM and “increases the risk of personnel being exposed to asbestos where it has not been properly identified” as stated in the article above, is not fit for purpose.

As a former HSE Inspector, many surveys I reviewed were poorly executed and exposed significant risk to occupiers and to those engaged as Contractors.

12 years ago

A survey “not completed in line with official guidance” isn’t necessarily “rubbish” as Bob says.