How to identify asbestos in a working environment

Asbestos was used in construction until the end of the 20th century and can be found in homes, schools, factories, offices, hospitals and more.

Health problems arising from exposure to asbestos kill about 5,000 people each year and leave many more with breathing difficulties, so it’s essential to know how to identify asbestos in a working environment to prevent exposure to airborne fibres.

On this page we’ll look at some of the ways to identify asbestos in a working environment and the strict regulations that mean if you suspect asbestos is present, you should call in accredited experts like hebs Compliance Services to handle the analysis.

How to identify asbestos in materials

If you believe a particular material contains asbestos, the only way to know for sure is to analyse a sample.

UKAS (the United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is responsible for accrediting asbestos analysis laboratories, so look for the UKAS Testing logo and only work with professionals like hebs Group.

An accredited analyst can collect a sample safely, without putting your personnel at risk. It needs to be representative of the material as a whole and must be collected without leaving asbestos fibres in the air.

How to detect asbestos in the air

UKAS accredited analysts can monitor for airborne asbestos fibres in cases where the material has already been disturbed. Anyone doing this must be accredited to International Standard ISO/IEC 17025, so leave it to the professionals.

While it’s important to be aware of asbestos in buildings, it’s crucial to know if asbestos fibres are airborne, as even a small quantity can be devastating if inhaled into the lungs.

The 2012 Control of Asbestos Regulations make it your duty only to hire accredited analysts and laboratories to conduct airborne asbestos testing, so call hebs Compliance Services if you are concerned.

How to survey for asbestos

An asbestos survey can identify the type and location of hazardous materials on your premises, which can then be used to decide how to work around them or remove them safely.

Working with an accredited asbestos surveyor like hebs Group means you don’t need to carry out any extra enquiries to prove their competence, and you can expect a survey report that meets all your needs, legal duties and regulatory responsibilities.

In cases where asbestos must be removed, we can handle the entire process, including safely encapsulating the fibres and taking them away for destruction so they cannot pose a future health hazard to workers or the building’s occupants.

To find out more, contact hebs Group today by sending us an email at info@hebs-group.co.uk or give us a call on 0151 236 0707 and a member of our team will be happy to discuss your asbestos concerns with you.

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