Are you using the lockdown wisely when it comes to asbestos?

Are you using the lockdown wisely when it comes to asbestos?

Ian Stone Asbestos Awareness

As more and more businesses begin to reopen their premises, people’s minds have been turning to tackling another problem in their midst.

A lot of asbestos-related works need to take place out of hours, whilst premises are unoccupied. Today’s climate presents an opportunity for firms to deal with asbestos works that they may have been putting off for ages.

Many premises are currently still unoccupied or are operating with a skeleton staff which means it is potentially easier to organise asbestos-related works.

Since the Government began issuing guidance to help businesses reopen, here at Acorn, we’ve experienced a rise in enquiries from both the domestic and commercial sectors. From the domestic market we’re receiving queries from people who want to get samples tested, surveys and removal works done before a house goes on the market or ahead of building extension works. Simultaneously, companies in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors are now planning their return and want to get any asbestos works done first while their buildings are still empty.

How will it benefit me to do the works now?

Most asbestos works can be destructive, and take up a lot of room, with potentially lots of contractors on site.

The work often takes place out of hours which incurs additional hourly rates, staff overtime and unsociable hours. Now, if you push the button on that asbestos survey you have been holding off on, it could perhaps be done in normal hours which will reduce your outlay.

This even applies to school buildings, colleges and universities. Although they have periods where students are away, the holidays are often filled with other necessary works. It’s common to find more than half a dozen separate contractors at schools over the holidays carrying out a range of tasks from replacing fixtures and fittings to decorating and upgrading heating. With all these contractors getting their gear in and out there are limited safe, transit routes and waste routes for asbestos contractors must be segregated. Those constraints mean it can take longer to carry out asbestos-related works and as a result people end up paying a premium for the work.

What will we do?

Things are difficult now but asbestos-related works are one thing you can get ticked off your list – and potentially with less planning and expense than normal.

Our team is ‘back in the office’, albeit on a smaller staffing scale. We have all undergone COVID-19 training with regard to social distancing and we’ve added additional procedures, such as incorporating hand sanitisers, introducing a one entry and one exit system on sites and introducing one-way systems. Due to the nature of working with asbestos, our team is already used to wearing PPE, masks, respirators and type 5 class 6 coveralls and have all the equipment, training and knowledge in place for working like this. We use P3 masks as standard. In addition, we are used to decontaminating on entrance and exit and adhering to strict government guidelines.

In all honesty, there probably hasn’t been a better time to get your asbestos works carried out.

If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and how it can be removed safely, contact our team on 0844 818 0895 or email