Choosing an Asbestos Professional?
‘How do I choose the right asbestos professional?’ is a question we are often asked. It really does depend on the type of work you require undertaking. For something straightforward, such as background or personal ‘asbestos in air monitoring’, there should be little issue in choosing an appropriately accredited laboratory or organisation.
However, if you are engaging an asbestos removal company to undertake asbestos removal work and you need ‘clearance’ air monitoring when they are finished, then you need to be a little more careful. Most asbestos removal companies will often directly contract the air testing organisation themselves to make the process simpler. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this approach, you need to be careful that the relationship between them isn’t ‘too cosy.’ Our advice is, wherever possible, contract the air testing laboratory yourself. This ensures more independence and allows you to retain more control over the process.
If you need an asbestos removal company to remove asbestos there are three main types;
- Licensed Contractor (licensed by the HSE)
- Trained asbestos operative or company
- A contractor such as a roofer who has asbestos training
If you require licensed asbestos products removing such as asbestos insulation board (AIB), pipe lagging etc then you need a contractor licensed by the HSE.
Our suggestion is always to contact at least five companies. Prices vary tremendously depending on the work, location, time of year and how busy the contractor is with other work. Always get references relating to other similar types of work they have carried out.
If you require non-licensed products removing, such as floor tiles or asbestos cement products, you can use either a licensed or a trained contractor. This type of work can be fraught with difficulty. Contractors will tell you they are trained when they ‘think’ they are, but often they are not. The training should be to a suitable standard (one day none licensed) and the operatives need to be experienced and well organised. Low prices can sometimes reflect low standards (not always though). If you are unsure then ask a company like ours to make enquiries on your behalf.
If you require asbestos surveys these can come from a number of sources;
- UKAS accredited company
- Self-certified company
- Asbestos removal company
- Qualified building surveyor
In all cases the individual surveyors should have the P402 qualification as a minimum with at least six months surveying experience to back that up. Any organisation you employ should be able to demonstrate their experience in different areas of surveying, training, impartiality, insurance cover, health and safety, quality management systems, ISO90001 etc. This can be demonstrated in part through a number of external organisations such as, Altius, Constructionline, Acclaim, CHAS, Safe Contractor, Alcumus & Exor etc.
Asbestos removal companies who offer asbestos surveys may sometimes be a higher risk option, as they are often accused of using the service to look for work. Our organisation has no financial connection with any asbestos removal company. We would rather find no asbestos in your property, as this means everyone is safe and the reports are much smaller. The accusation however, can be unfair. Whilst there are some companies who do use the survey as a tool to generate business, there are other companies providing a good asbestos removal and survey service out of the same organisation.
View the complete range of professional asbestos services.
Asbestos removal can be an expensive business. The trick is to build up open and honest relationships with suppliers and test or audit their quality on a regular basis. Always maintain overall control of the process wherever possible.