When it comes to choosing an asbestos surveyor, whether for a big or small job, there are a number of things to take into account. But perhaps one of the most important pointers is not simply to plump for either the first asbestos company you find, or the cheapest, but the firm offering the best value in terms of a high level of competence and a quality service. You also need to find the asbestos surveyor best suited to your particular project, while, equally, it makes sense to choose a firm that’s reasonably local to where the work needs to be done.
Clearly, you’ll also need to be sure your asbestos surveyor has the technical competence and resources for the task in hand.
What to Know Before Choosing an Asbestos Company
If you choose an asbestos surveyor which has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the organisation can meet even the most stringent requirements.
UKAS is the only accreditation body operating nationally with government recognition. It assesses asbestos specialists against international criteria, along with the technical ability and integrity of the firms in question. So it provides independent, authoritative confirmation of competence.
Insist on UKAS accreditation to ISO 17020, an internationally agreed standard setting out the requirements for asbestos testing companies.
A couple of other accreditation schemes, including NIACS and ABICS, are no longer operating.
It’s also a requirement outlined in HS3264, The Health and Safety Executive’s guide to managing on-site asbestos, that your asbestos surveyor should have a quality management system in place.
Other Things to Consider
When choosing an accredited asbestos company, there are a few things to take into account:
- The asbestos testing firm should be able to demonstrate integrity, impartiality and independence
- Obviously, as outlined above, the organisation needs to be properly accredited
- They should have extensive experience in all aspects of surveying work, including planning resources, technical aspects, quality control and how to assess asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)
- Check to see what sort of online feedback they have received from past clients
- They should have a thorough understanding of construction, from building methods and fire protection to the way buildings are used
- Ask whether the firm has previously worked on projects like yours
- Ask how much time they need to complete your job, so that timescales are realistic on both sides
Is the Asbestos Company a Good Fit For Your Project?
There are many different types of asbestos survey and the type you require will depend on the type of project it is needed for. Clearly, you need to hire a certified asbestos company with the right industry knowledge and expertise. But, equally importantly, asbestos surveys should be done by someone that’s the right ‘fit’ for your project.
That may mean, for example:
- If you’re refurbishing or demolishing a building, you need an asbestos company specialising in refurbishment and demolition surveys.
- If your project is at a residential home, you’ll need an accredited asbestos company experienced in carrying out residential asbestos surveys
- If you’re working at a school or hospital, look for an asbestos testing firm that’s highly competent with commercial asbestos surveys
The risks of choosing an asbestos surveyor that’s not an accredited asbestos company
While you may feel tempted by an initially attractive offer, there are many risks associated with choosing an asbestos company that’s below-par or not properly accredited:
- Staff may not have the experience, resource, knowledge or qualifications needed. Attending a basic P402 asbestos course is not enough in itself to show competence
- Surveys may be incomplete or inadequate
- Some asbestos-containing materials, particularly those which aren’t obvious just by sight, may be missed
- The company may not have complete impartiality
- A lack of due diligence may leave you vulnerable to future asbestos claims
- Choosing an unaccredited firm means no comeback or formal event process in the event of any problems – it could also expose insurance loopholes if you need to make a claim
Do you need suspected ACMs to be tested?
If you need an asbestos testing service, either for ACMs or on-site air testing, you’ll obviously need to choose an asbestos surveyor that offers this, ideally one with their own in-house asbestos laboratory.
Choosing an asbestos company doesn’t have to be hard
At Core Surveys, we’re a UKAS-accredited asbestos company with our own asbestos lab. We’re certified to o ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025, meaning you can choose us with confidence, and we provide prompt, cost-effective asbestos testing, whether you need a one-off or regular service. We also offer bulk asbestos sampling as well as all types of asbestos surveys.
And we cover South Wales, Sussex, London, Brighton and Bristol, as well as Kent, Sussex and South Wales, including Swansea and Cardiff.
Get in touch with us today to learn more.