DAF Risk Blog

04/07/17

Principally, those who carry out refurbishment, maintenance construction and similar trades could all be a risk of exposure to asbestos during the course of their work and repair jobs are most likely to be exposed to asbestos.

This may include:
  • Demolition workers
  • Carpenters & joiners
  • Surveyors
  • Maintenance workers
  • Caretakers
  • Painters and decorators
  • Electricians
  • Roofers
  • Plasterers
  • Gas fitters
  • Heating engineers
  • Ventilation engineers
  • Construction workers
  • Phone and IT engineers
  • Fire & burglar alarm installers

This list does not include all occupations at risk from potential exposure to asbestos.

Information on the location of asbestos containing materials must be passed on to these tradespeople in good time prior to commencing their work.

Get in touch with us to discuss your needs and put your mind at rest.
Author
29/06/17

If you’re a homeowner - or about to become one - your mortgage lender or solicitor may advise you to have an asbestos survey before contracts can be exchanged. Equally, if you’ve been in your home for a while you may wish to have one for peace of mind.

The reason a mortgage lender or solicitor will suggest an asbestos survey is, if they survey does establish that there is asbestos present in the property, it could affect the value of the house or flat.
Take a look at these key points which will help you decide how to go about having an asbestos survey for your home:
  • As a homebuyer you will get a ‘homebuyer’s report’ but this is not the same as a full asbestos survey. It can help you identify if there are materials containing asbestos in the property but it is not as comprehensive as an asbestos survey undertaken by a specialist surveyor.
  • You may be recommended to have a ‘pre-purchase asbestos survey’; this either involves a management level survey or sampling particular items that are likely to contain asbestos.
  • Even if you are planning to do work on the property when you move in, do not have refurbishment or demolition surveys before you have completed on the property. If the sale falls through you could be responsible for reinstatement costs.
  • It is unlikely that your homebuyers report will be carried out by an asbestos specialist so do not assume that the small number of suspect materials found on the report is comprehensive. Asbestos can be found in thousands of products and it is likely there are many that a general surveyor would not be aware of.
  • If the property you are hoping to buy was built before the year 2000 we would recommend have an asbestos survey done. A homebuyer asbestos survey is a relatively cheap alternative to perhaps having to pay £1000s to later remove asbestos.

We hope you find this advice useful and if you are considering buying a new home and would like to establish whether there are any risks from asbestos present, do get in touch. Our service is both efficient and good value, meaning you can put your mind at rest during an otherwise stressful process.
Author
22/06/17
Legionella is a bacterium which can cause diseases such as the very serious - and sometimes fatal - Legionnaires’ disease, but also Pontiac and Lochgoilhead fevers. Unfortunately we’re all at risk from Legionella although there are higher risk groups of people including:
  • Those over 45 years of age
  • Those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease
  • People who smoke
  • Heavy drinkers
  • People with diabetes, lung or heart disease
  • Anyone with an impaired immune system

How common is Legionella and where can it be found?
There are around 50 species of Legionella with the bacterium Legionella pneumophila causing most illness. It can commonly be found in natural water such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, as well as man-made water systems such as spa pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis, cooling towers, hot and cold water systems and air conditioning units.

Typically Legionella exists in small numbers which should not pose a threat of illness. However, depending on the conditions, the can bacteria grow which could result in a higher risk of Legionnaires’ disease. This is why it is essential that relevant measures are introduced which will control the risk.

What causes Legionella to increase to dangerous levels?
There are a number of conditions that can encourage the growth of Legionella bacteria to levels which could pose a hazard. These include:
  • If the water in the system (or any part of it) has a temperature between 20-45°C
  • If water is stored and/or recirculated
  • Where breathable water droplets can be generated and scattered, for example in a cooling tower
  • Where there is build-up of something that can host bacteria such as scale, sludge, or any other organic matter

Legionella risk management

Under general health and safety law, dutyholders including employers or those in control of premises, must ensure the health and safety of their employees or others who may be affected by their undertaking. Adequate precautions must be put in place to prevent or control the risk of exposure to Legionella.

The first and critical step is to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment to identify and assess the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria from work activities and water systems on the premises and any precautionary measures needed.

DAF Risk Consulting can provide this assessment; just give us a call on 01273 437 025 to discuss how we can help you.
31/05/17

If you're lucky enough to work in the fantastic city of Brighton and Hove, and think that a building you work in or manage may have asbestos present, take a look at this useful advice from Brighton and Hove City Council. We work in and around Brighton and Hove - as well as further afield throughout East and West Sussex - so if you have questions about managing asbestos in your workplace, do give us a call on 01273 437025 or drop us an email.
18/05/17
university buildings which may have asbestos
An asbestos management survey is appropriate for all sorts of buildings - including shared areas of residential properties, university halls of residence, churches, schools, and offices - but not domestic properties such as a regular family home (in this case, a Homebuyer Survey may be more appropriate). The aim of an asbestos management survey is to correctly deal with any materials within the building that may contain asbestos.

Any survey of this type should be a thorough assessment, as the goal is to locate and assess all asbestos that might be disturbed during any maintenance of the building. This will involve sampling and an assessment of how much fibre release the asbestos-containing material is likely to emit.

You should expect your final assessment report to include recommendations, risk assessments and drawings showing the location of the asbestos-containing materials.
The person who is responsible for the upkeep of the property should arrange the survey with an asbestos assessment expert. It is essential that all areas of the building are accessible by the person carrying out the survey; if areas cannot be reached it is presumed that they contain asbestos.

There are a number of points you should consider when planning an asbestos management survey including:
  • Check the experience and skills of the individual surveyor who will be carrying out the work, not just the reputation of the company.
  • Ask for evidence of work they’ve previously carried out including the contact details of a past client or two
  • Make sure that the company has insurance; ask for the details in advance of any work being carried out.
  • The survey should be undertaken in accordance with guidance document HSG264 Asbestos – The Survey Guide, as issued by the Health & Safety Executive.
  • Ask for an example of the sample report, so that you know it will include everything you need such as floor plans. You should also get the completed copy of this report once your survey is complete.
  • Ask whether the sample analysis is included in the price or an additional extra.
  • Make sure the advice you get is impartial; if the company you use for your survey also offers asbestos removal, it may have a vested interest in making certain recommendations.

DAF Risk Consulting has many years experience surveying and assessing asbestos for management surveys. Give us a call or drop us an email if you’d like to talk to us about your management survey.
21/12/16

Demolition of Mantell Building at Sussex University having had an asbestos survey

The successful demolition of the Mantell Building at the University of Sussex Falmer Campus is nearing completion. The demolition works are being undertaken by Dorton Demolition and follow on from the hazardous materials removal phase. DAF were contracted to undertake the pre-demolition asbestos survey so that all asbestos containing materials could be safely removed by Dorton prior to the main demolition works.
DF
25/11/16

Damaged asbestos ceiling tiles
Example of highly damaged asbestos insulating board (AIB) panels to the underside of pitched roof sections in an old industrial building. The panels had been smashed through in order to fix the gutter above, leaving asbestos debris to all lower level surfaces.

AIB is commonly used for fire protection, thermal and acoustic insulation & as general building board. It can be also be found in service ducts, firebreaks, infill panels, partitions and ceilings (including ceiling tiles), roof underlay, wall linings, soffits, external canopies and porch linings.

AIB usually contains a mixture of amosite (brown) and chrysotile (white) asbestos fibres in a calcium silicate.

Almost all work with AIB will require a licensed contractor.
DF
22/08/16
This summer DAF was selected to undertake the pre-demolition asbestos survey of the Mantell Building at the University's Falmer Campus. The Mantell building is part of East Slope Estate constructed in the 1970s. Demolition of the building will make way for state of the art teaching and research facilities.
Pre-demolition asbestos survey of a halls of residence
DF
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