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HSG264 - Asbestos: The survey guide

If you are a surveyor, a property owner or manager then the Health and Safety Executive produces a guide for the recording and management of asbestos. It is called ’HSG264 - Asbestos: The survey guide’ and is available from the following link:

Health and Safety website - HSG264 - Asbestos: The survey guide

Asbestos is a human carcinogen and was extensively used for a wide range on construction purposes until 1999 when it was banned in the UK. The fact it was widely used results in a huge percentage of UK properties containing asbestos in various forms. If asbestos is sealed and inaccessible then it is relatively harmless but where it has been disturbed fibres may have been released which pose a threat to occupants or visitors.

HSG264 asbestos survey

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a document called HSG264 which details the suggested process for asbestos surveys. Using this guide any asbestos surveyor can carry out an HSG264 asbestos survey confident in the knowledge that it will meet all the requirements of the HSE.

The HSG264 asbestos survey guide begins with a section which provides information for property owners and managers on what to expect from an asbestos surveyor when an HSG264 asbestos survey is required for their premise.

The guide then clearly lays out how a surveyor should proceed with planning an HSG264 asbestos survey including the measuring, access and protective equipment they should consider using. After preparing a plan for the survey and carrying out a risk assessment the surveyor will be ready to proceed with the actual survey.

HSG asbestos survey samples

An HSG264 asbestos survey will require samples to be taken of materials suspected of containing asbestos. The samples are sent for bulk sampling analysis and the results returned to the surveyor for inclusion into the report. Any bulk sampling certificates will also be included in the report.

The HSE guide details the various sections and general layout suggested for the final report for it to be considered a compliant HSG264 asbestos survey report. The sections suggested for inclusion into an HSG264 asbestos survey are as follows.

Executive summary

The executive summary is an overview of the HSG264 asbestos survey results. It is intended to provide the most important information for safety in a presentation which is clear and concise. This enables building occupants and contractors to quickly assess any asbestos risks present. The summary should include a list of areas accessed or not accessed together with the details of any asbestos materials found.


The introduction outlines the aim and scope of the HSG264 asbestos survey.

Site information

The site information includes address details and contact details as well as a basic description of the building type and construction.

Survey results

The survey results should include a list of all areas within the premise and details of any suspected asbestos materials found. It is important to ensure a full list of areas is present including any areas access but for which nothing suspicious was found. Without the full list of areas it is impossible for the reader to identify if a particular area is safe or if the surveyor merely missed it.

Conclusions and actions

The HSG264 asbestos survey report conclusions and actions details what actions are required by premise owners or managers. In some cases asbestos can be rendered safe by sealing it and labelling but asbestos which presents a higher risk will usually need to be removed by an approved contractor.

Bulk sample analysis results

Once samples have been analysed a certificate is issued which should be incorporated into the report.

Drawings and building plans

Although the requirement for drawings and building plans is not compulsory for an HSG264 asbestos survey report Survey JEM™ can also incorporate PDF drawings into a single report file which can be downloaded and printed at will.

HSG264 asbestos surveys online

Survey JEM™ is designed to allow surveyors to produce HSG264 asbestos survey reports with ease. Survey JEM™ has been developed using years of experience of creating software able to produce an HSG264 asbestos survey report. Our design emphasis has always been to create software and online database applications which are as easy to use as possible. This approach results in applications which can speed up data entry time while still maintaining the highest possible level of data quality.

Further information

If you would like to know more or are interested in trying Survey JEM™ we would be happy to help. Phone us on 01953 425 932, email us at or fill in our contact form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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HSG264 - Asbestos: The survey guide