What They Do and Why They are Important
Asbestos is a very dangerous substance and inhaling the tiny fibres within it can cause serious respiratory problems and lung disease. Whenever construction workers or other professionals are working on a building that might contain asbestos, it is absolutely crucial that they follow the correct safety procedures. However, there is a lot to know about avoiding asbestos exposure and not everyone is properly trained in the up to date procedures of safe removal. This is why many companies will hire an asbestos consultant in order to help them understand the risk and manage asbestos in a safe way.
What Does an Asbestos Consultant Do?
The goal of an asbestos consultant is to provide the client with enough knowledge to ensure that they can protect themselves from safety hazards, in a situation where they might have little experience. Hiring an asbestos consultant is different than hiring an asbestos removal company, as they will offer impartial advice and will not offer any remedial or removal services.
The asbestos consultant will conduct an inspection and will take samples of the suspected material, assessing its condition and advising which course of action will be needed to deal with it safely. They will also advise you and help you to create a plan which will allow you to remove the material, according to safe procedures that are outlined in the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations. They are also on hand to answer any questions that you might have.
There are many Asbestos Consultants out there to choose from, some working independently and others working with firms. Take your time to research the right consultant for you – preferably someone who has experience in your industry and is familiar with your particular situation.
The Control of Asbestos At Work Regulations
In 2012, the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations were introduced in the UK. An Asbestos Consultant is fully aware of these regulations and it is their job to be an expert on all aspects of them. Managing asbestos safely is all about knowledge, so having the right information is essential. An asbestos consultant will give you independent advice on your asbestos management, taking your particular needs into account.
As well as understanding the safety considerations of removing asbestos, a consultant will also understand the pressures of business and the need to do things efficiently and cost effectively. They will be able to recommend solutions that suit the business and will be advantageous in terms of future success.
Who Do Asbestos Consultants Work With?
Asbestos consultants work with a number of different clients within a range of industries. They might work with housing associations, schools, universities, local government, NHS trusts, national retailers, asbestos removal contractors, demolition and construction companies, the hotel and leisure industry, manufacturing, commercial businesses and logistics. They can offer their services on a wide range of projects, ensuring that they are carried out safely and correctly.
Why Hiring a Professional is Important
There are many reasons why hiring a professional asbestos consultant is very important. Here are a few of the major reasons:
- Removing asbestos incorrectly has serious health risks. Inhaling the fibres can cause respiratory problems and also results in mesothelioma – a form of lung cancer. This type of cancer can be dormant for a number of years, so you will not know right away if you have it. It is very serious and almost always fatal.
- Mesothelioma is not the only disease that results from asbestos exposure. Another common disease associated with this building material is asbestosis, which is a scarring condition on the lung. It usually results from prolonged exposure to the material over several years. It will cause shortness of breath and can also be fatal.
- Yet another health risk associated with asbestos is pleural thickening, which is when the lining of the lung swells up. The lung itself is squeezed as a result, which can cause difficulty breathing.
- Victims of asbestos related illness have been successful in claiming compensation from their employer if they have been exposed due to health and safety negligence in the workplace. To avoid these compensation claims and prevent this situation from occurring, it is very important to put the correct health and safety practices in place.
- An asbestos consultant can offer expertise and they are knowledgeable about all of the small details of asbestos management – which you might not be aware of.
- The consultant will also be able to offer you impartial advice. They will not recommend a removal service just for the sake of it, they will focus on your needs and help you find the solution that works well for your company.
- When you work with a professional asbestos consultant, you will be able to be confident that you are complying with legislation. That way, you don’t need to worry about lawsuits due to non-compliance or large fees.
- When you hire a consultant who is not associated with an asbestos removal firm, you have an advantage. Hiring these separately means that there will be no conflict of interest and no influence on you.
- The consultant can work with you throughout the entire project, ensuring that each step of the process is carried out correctly. They can also perform checks of the area to make sure that it has been properly cleaned after the project has been completed.
- Having a professional asbestos consultant on your side means that you will have someone to ask questions to. Rather than being unsure or making a guess, which could be dangerous, you will always be able to proceed with confidence and know that you are doing things correctly.
These are just a few of the reasons why hiring an asbestos consultant is so important. Asbestos is a killer and it is absolutely essential to deal with it correctly in the workplace. Don’t make guesses about the correct procedure, make sure that you hire a consultant who is an expert in asbestos removal and who will be able to advise you on health and safety.