Before you embark on your renovation project it is important as a trader and builder that you know how to prevent asbestos disturbances and are fully aware of the risk asbestos poses.
All too often, asbestos-containing materials are disturbed without workers even realising it. From walls and ceilings to under the stairs and doors… many of these materials contain hidden traces of asbestos that can pose a danger to your team.
That is why before you commit to a project you should do the following:
- Asbestos survey – don’t trust prior surveys to contain everything you need to know about your property. Alongside finding out the date your property was built (if built before 2000 assume asbestos is present in building materials) and getting existing building plans; you should also hire an HSE approved asbestos surveyor to re-check your property as they’ll be able to alert you to the condition of these materials and whether they need repairing/removing.
- Testing – once your property has been mapped out and areas have been identified; one of the safest things you can do for your employees is to get them tested. This can either be performed by an asbestos surveyor (whilst they are surveying your property) or by a specialist who can take samples from these areas and confirm once and for all whether they contain asbestos. NOTE: Only perform tests on areas that you are certain could be disturbed during your renovation. If they are not damaged and there is no risk of their condition being altered, then there is no need to test them.
- Ensure your entire team has completed asbestos awareness training and training on licensable and non-licensable work – this training shouldn’t be exclusive to just your own internal team. If you are hiring any self-workers you should also check that they have had this training too.
- Create a list of every job that needs to be performed – by identifying every job that needs to be completed to fulfil the job, you will then be able to identify the level of training each worker needs. For instance, you wouldn’t think a painter, plasterer, plumber, electrician or an engineer would need to be aware of asbestos; however, their work actually has a high risk of exposure. For this reason, check to see if they have had asbestos awareness training, but also keep them informed of the areas that have been identified as having asbestos.
- Risk management – using the list you made on point 4, you can perform a risk management assessment of the work before constructing a management plan that will reduce the risks of working with asbestos.
Keep to each of these 5 tips, and you can ensure that your entire team is protected from exposure.
More importantly with the support of surveys and training, you can eliminate the risk of disturbing these materials and ensure that your renovations are completed smoothly and safely.
At ICE Asbestos, our team of specialists can supply you with the surveys, labelling and encapsulation work you need to help manage the risks associated with hidden asbestos. At the same time we can seal any damaged asbestos and deal with any removals; thus improving the efficiency of your project.
For more information, contact us today.
At ICE Asbestos we are licensed to perform both Management surveys as well as Demolition & Refurbishment Surveys. We work all over the UK and have offices in Birmingham, Darlington, London, Leeds, Nottingham and Norwich.