We’ve compiled responses to some of the most frequently asked questions from our commercial, domestic and industrial customers.
I have an emergency, how quickly can Vintec get to me?AVintec prides itself on the speed of its call out times. If you have an emergency situation, one of our mobile analysts will endeavour to get to you in 1-2 hours – call us on 01923 661144.
What is asbestos?AAsbestos is a name given to a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. The most common types of asbestos are Crocidolite (Blue asbestos), Amosite (Brown asbestos) and Chrysotile (White asbestos).
What are the detrimental health effects of asbestos?A The health effects from asbestos exposure are well documented. Asbestos fibres are easily inhaled and carried into the lungs where they can cause disease, leading to reduced respiratory function and death.
Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibres also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. You are more likely to experience asbestos-related disease if:
– You are exposed to high concentrations of asbestos
– You are exposed for longer periods of time
– You are exposed to asbestos more frequently
Where am I likely to find asbestos in a property?A
Asbestos materials are found in all sorts of places within properties, these can include but are not limited to:
– Thermoplastic floor tiles (sometimes called Marley floor tiles)
– Textured coating (Artex)
– Asbestos insulating board as (Porch Panels, under window panels, soffit board, door linings, hot air cupboard linings, paneled ceilings, suspended ceilings, firebreaks and beam cladding)
– Flue pipe & soil pipes including rainwater goods
– Pipe lagging and insulation including boiler vessels
– Under-cloaking tiles
– Damp Proof Course
– Gaskets & rope seals in high temperature plant, including fuse board and breakers
– Sprayed coatings
– Paper backings
– Friction products clutches and brake linings
– Bitumen & mastic adhesive
– Corrugated, profiled and flat cement sheeting
How do I know if my property contains asbestos?A Asbestos was still be used in buildings right up until 2000. Vintec can undertake Asbestos Testing surveys of both commercial, industrial and domestic buildings, detailing all identifiable asbestos containing materials (ACMs).
An easy reference risk assessment will be included which provides recommendations to help prevent anyone being exposed to airborne asbestos fibres. If a full survey is not required, Vintec can undertake Asbestos Sampling of individual materials and provide the appropriate reports.
How do you test for asbestos?A The only way to positively identify asbestos is in the laboratory using polarised light microscopy. The process involves breaking down a sample of the parent material and extracting any suspect asbestos fibres. The extracted fibres are cleaned and mounted on a microscope slide in a liquid with known refractive index (RI Liquid). Different properties of the fibre are observed and if the fibre meets the relevant criteria it will be identified as an asbestos fibre.
What are the benefits of using a UKAS accredited surveyor?A UKAS assesses against internationally recognised standards to determine technical competence, giving you confidence in the high standard and quality of work that accredited surveyors are held to.
When you engage the services of an asbestos surveyor you have a legal obligation to check the competence of the person/organisation carrying out the survey. UKAS accreditation is the only independent way of verifying competence. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) recommend only appointing UKAS accredited surveyors.
You can find out more about our UKAS and other accreditations here.
What should I expect during a commercial asbestos survey?AVintec’s asbestos surveys provide accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). We test samples in our own state-of-the-art in-house UKAS accredited laboratory. Typically, within 3-5 days of survey completion, you will receive a fully written, detailed report as to what was found with photographic evidence and full recommendations. Faster turnarounds, including same day, are available if urgent results are required.
We understand that commercial constraints may make testing and surveying during the working day difficult. Our surveyors are available for out of hours appointments and will fit in around your operational requirements.
What should I expect during a domestic asbestos survey?AVintec’s domestic asbestos surveys provide accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). We test samples in our own state-of-the-art in-house UKAS accredited laboratory. Typically, within 3-5 days of survey completion, you will receive a fully written, detailed report as to what was found with photographic evidence and full recommendations. Faster turnarounds, including same day, are available if urgent results are required.
We understand time pressures in everyday life, so our surveyors are available for out of hours appointments to fit around you.
Do I need to remove asbestos found during my survey?A Asbestos removal is not always your only option – sometimes it is better to manage the asbestos in situ. However, if the asbestos identified is higher risk, then it probably should be removed by a licensed contractor as higher risk asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are more likely to release asbestos fibres.
Get in contact with the Vintec team – call 01923 661144 and one of our experts will be able to advise you on the best next steps.
Can you survey a property before I have bought it?A Yes. Having an asbestos survey inspection undertaken on your home prior to either exchange or completion is now commonplace.
In some cases, usually where a Homebuyers report highlights the possibility of asbestos, the mortgage company may insist that an asbestos survey is carried out. It is also a sensible precaution to help you identify any possible asbestos liability that you may be taking on.
Where a pre-purchase asbestos survey is undertaken, it will be limited in scope to identifying accessible/visible materials only.
What is an asbestos management plan and do I need one?A If you own, occupy or manage commercial property you are required to have an asbestos management plan (AMP). If asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are identified, the AMP will include a register of the location, type and condition of the ACMs identified; the risk posed by the ACMs and any recommendations for remedial actions.
What is the Duty to Manage?A Under regulation 4 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, the duty to manage in non-domestic premises is the responsibility for protecting others who work in the premises. It requires an employer to assess, identify and manage asbestos within the workplace.
Who is the Dutyholder?A The dutyholder is the owner of non-domestic premises or the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of non-domestic premises, for example through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract.
The extent of the duty will depend on the nature of that agreement. In a building occupied by one leaseholder, the agreement might be for either the owner or leaseholder to take on the full duty for the whole building; or it might be to share the duty. In a multi-occupied building, the agreement might be that the owner takes on the full duty for the whole building. Or it might be that the duty is shared – for example, the owner takes responsibility for the common parts while the leaseholders take responsibility for the parts they occupy. Sometimes, there might be an agreement to pass the responsibilities to a managing agent.
What asbestos training do I need to give my staff?A Employers are currently legally required to provide training and information to their employees who may be exposed to asbestos as part of their work – they must be able to recognise asbestos containing materials (ACMs). The legal training requirement for anyone who may come into contact with or disturb asbestos is Asbestos Awareness training.
Specific training for those undertaking asbestos removal covers:
– Non-licensable work with asbestos including notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW)
– Licensable work with asbestos
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