The primary guidance document for asbestos surveying is called HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide.
This document is produced by the Health & Safety Executive and is aimed at both asbestos surveyors and those with responsibility for managing asbestos in non-domestic premises, who will want to commission surveyors.
The guidance is punctuated throughout with green boxes that contain advice for clients and duty holders.
If you simply search for asbestos surveyors uk you will find thousands of companies that offer these services but how do you know which one to choose?
Fortunately one of the green boxes in HSG264 gives advice on the information that you should request in order to determine that the asbestos surveyor is competent. It is your responsibility as a Duty Holder to establish the competence of the surveyor so it is important that you read this advice.
You can download the guidance document from the HSE’s web site and turn to Section 2: Competence and Quality Assurance Procedures on page 11 (the printed version may have slightly different page numbers).
In this section they strongly recommend the use of accredited or certified surveyors but what does that actually mean? Box 3 explains what you need to check to determine competency, such as proof of expertise and experience, maybe through recommendations or testimonials from previous clients. You also need to establish the accreditation or certification status of the surveyor.
In the UK you may employ the services of a company that is accredited or individual surveyor that is certified.
Larger companies may hold UKAS accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020, an internationally recognised standard that sets out the requirements for organisations that perform inspections. It goes much further than simple ISO9001 accreditation for quality management. This level of accreditation is quite expensive, however, and not every company is able to meet the stringent requirements. That does not mean that you cannot still use them as it is only important that you determine the competence of the specific surveyor conducting your inspection.
Currently the only standard for asbestos surveyors in the UK is P402 certification, awarded by BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society). This is the one that you need to ensure is held by anyone who is hired to survey your premises and is the one that all RJS Waste Management UK Limited surveyors hold.