While there is no shortage of companies that specialise in asbestos surveys and consulting, often at what may initially seem very attractive prices, there are various risks that you should consider before requesting the services of such a business.
You will need to assess, for example, whether the firm in question possesses sufficient technical competence and resources to carry out the work, as well as whether the surveyors are working to suitable codes of conduct to ensure inspections are undertaken impartially and with integrity.
You should also be confident that the organisation has implemented an adequate quality system and safeguards, such as suitable liability insurance in case of any unexpected difficulties.
The regulatory aspect of choosing the most suitable company
There is an obvious health and safety justification for seeking out an organisation that is able to undertake a high standard of asbestos surveys. However, you also have a legal duty to consider.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) and more specifically Regulation 4: Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic properties make clear that the owners and occupiers of non-domestic buildings are legally required to undertake a suitable assessment to determine whether asbestos is present or liable to be present.
Compliance with the regulations is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which also issues penalties to individuals who fail to keep their staff and other on-site persons safe.
Work only with a reputable and accredited asbestos specialist
By only selecting an asbestos surveys provider that has also received accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), you can be sure of having appointed a competent surveying organisation capable of meeting even the most demanding requirements.
UKAS is the sole government-recognised national accreditation body to assess asbestos specialists against international standards. The accreditation process scrutinises the technical competence and integrity of organisations that provide asbestos surveys and related services.
While you are strongly urged by HSE to use an accredited surveyor, it is important to bear in mind that the UKAS accredited certification of a supplier’s management system to ISO 9001 does not relate to, and therefore guarantee, that firm’s technical competence. It instead merely concerns the arrangements that the company has for managing the quality of its product or service.
However, you can place your trust in the technical competence of an asbestos surveying business with UKAS accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020, given that this is the internationally recognised standard setting out the requirements for organisations performing inspections.
When you wish to choose a company to provide your organisation with asbestos surveys, it is vital that you look for appropriate UKAS accreditation. Contact the Salvum team today by calling 0343 886 5999, and you can be sure of benefitting from just such a firm.