Dudley Project – Asbestos Survey Case Study

Dudley Asbestos Survey

We at Safeline Environmental carry out all types and sizes of surveys, a recent Dudley Asbestos Survey was completed by Safeline to a domestic property, a lovely old couple that was having an update to their home before they retired.

On-site, the survey highlighted small amounts of asbestos in the home, and the homeowners asked the question about leaving asbestos in place if it remained undisturbed.

The advice from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is as follows;-

“Do not try to repair or remove any asbestos materials yourself if you have not had any training for non-licensed asbestos work. You can seek advice from an environmental health officer at your local authority/council (see the Directgov website).

If you are sure (or strongly suspect) that your home contains asbestos materials then it is often best to leave them where they are – especially if they are in good condition and unlikely to get damaged. You should check the condition of the materials from time to time to make sure they haven’t been damaged or started to deteriorate.”

The key to this advice is the notion of the ACM (asbestos-containing material) not being damaged. Asbestos is particularly dangerous if the people in that environment have been exposed to an ACM that is deteriorating and becoming airborne. It has been noted that exposure periods of between 10 and 40 years are typical to have a detrimental effect on health. The HSE goes on to say;-

“lightly damaged asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) can sometimes be repaired by sealing or enclosing them. However, you should only attempt to do this if you have had the necessary training. Any badly damaged asbestos material that is likely to become further damaged should be removed if it cannot be protected. Some materials (sprayed asbestos coatings, asbestos lagging/insulation or asbestos insulating board) should only be removed by a contractor licensed by HSE. Your local environmental health officer can provide advice on this.

If you are planning any DIY home improvements, repairs or maintenance – and intend to bring in any additional builders, maintenance workers or contractors – you should inform them of any asbestos materials in your home before they start work. This will help reduce the risks of any ACMs being disturbed. HSE strongly encourages the use of trained professionals to repair or remove ACMs. If you choose to carry out DIY repairs or remove damaged asbestos materials yourself, make sure you wear the right protective equipment and follow safe working methods. For advice on doing this, see Asbestos essentials task sheets.”

As our Dudley asbestos survey highlighted damaged ACM’s the homeowner wisely choose to have the asbestos removed before any of the improvement contractors can onto site.

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