So who should undertake your asbestos testing and sampling? How do you check that the person/company doing the asbestos testing is competent and will offer independent advice? After all, it’s not a substance you want to be messing around with.
My quick search for ‘asbestos testing’ on the Google has thrown up 17 results on the first page. Some have fancy websites. Some offer up spurious and unrelated accreditation as evidence of competence. After further investigation result of each one the breakdown of Companies is as follows:
- 9 Companies offer testing and surveying services but have no relevant accreditation or qualifications. (One of which is offering advice is staggeringly wrong!)
- 2 Companies are asbestos removal companies with no expertise in sampling or testing
- 2 pages belong to housing associations and their own asbestos testing issues
- 1 is a page from the HSE website recommending asbestos testing and sampling is carried out by UKAS accredited companies only
- 3 are Companies accredited by UKAS for asbestos testing, surveying and analysis.
So what do you get if you choose one of the UKAS accredited companies? The answer is all of the following:
- Technical competence of staff and management has been independently verified.
- The equipment used to undertake asbestos testing and analysis has been independently checked (including testing, calibration and maintenance records)
- Technical procedures have been independently assessed as complying with HSE guidance and relevant ISO standards
- Independently assessed financial stability
- The company is verified as independent and able to offer fully impartial advice
- Quality systems have been independently assessed. Staff are regularly audited and reports checked by competent staff prior to issue
- Guarantees that the relevant insurance cover is in place should things go wrong
And you don’t just have to take my word for it. UKAS issued a document outlining the benefits of employing an accredited company.
Some companies offer up other types of accreditation as proof of competence. The common ones you see are BOHS, CHAS, HSE, ISO9001, Safe Contractor, Checkatrade.com, Constructionline, CSCS, Environment Agency and so it continues. Unfortunately none of these other badges assess asbestos competence. Most of the list are general health and safety checks, trade bodies or training providers. None specialise in asbestos testing.
To discuss your asbestos testing or asbestos surveying requirements in more detail why not give our team a call on 01923 661144 or get in touch via the contact form at the top of this page.