Asbestos was a common building material in houses from the 1950’s to the late 1990’s. When it was found to be the cause of respiratory related illnesses, which in most cases led to lung cancer, the substance was banned for use in house construction. The material was eventually banned from being imported into the country. It was widely used in insulation and fire proofing as well as ceiling tiles, pipes and garage roof tiles. Asbestos is made up of fibres that, when they become loose and inhaled, can lead to fatal lung illnesses. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recommend the removal of asbestos, mainly in public buildings and strongly advice seeking the help of an accredited surveyor to remove the dangerous substance. What should you look for in a competent surveyor? We have listed some suggestions for you to consider
With any service that can benefit your health and safety, you want to know that they have done it before and competently. Ensure that they have performed surveys for a few years and you should be able to check their experience and accreditations through their website. An excellent surveyor should be qualified for BOHS P402 standard alongside being fully HSE licenced.
Efficient Management System
You should ask a surveyor how the service will be carried out. A competent surveyor will perform a thorough inspection of the house, including ceilings and pipes. They will also look in the rooms most likely to contain asbestos, such as basements and attics. They should also ask how old the house is, as this will help them determine the amount of asbestos, if any, is located in the property.
Gives Impartial advice
Ensure that you have selected a company that can provide impartial and unbiased advice. They will need to give you advice on how to properly manage asbestos in the event of it causing more danger if the asbestos was to be removed. A competent surveyor will also need to have extensive knowledge of asbestos products (e.g. their nature, uses, and hazards, sampling techniques) and sufficient knowledge of the specific tasks to be undertaken and solutions.
Works with good practice guidance
You should find this out through the companies accreditations. If they have professional accreditations, this will provide you with confidence that they follow excellent health and safety guidelines when it comes to analysing asbestos and providing good management information. Any samples that they find should be sent to a UKAS accredited laboratory for analysis.
In conclusion, following this advice should help you find a competent asbestos surveyor. Alongside asbestos, they should also be able to provide surveys for environmental issues, such as noise monitoring and energy performance. As asbestos can prove fatal, hiring the service of a professional surveyor can ensure that you and your family (or even company) are not exposing your health and wellbeing to this deadly substance. You should also find out if a company has a license to remove hazardous waste in the event of asbestos needing to be removed.
In addition to writing, Harry Price is a talented musician – playing bass and bongos for a local band.