How do you get the right asbestos contractor?

It is so important that you get competent asbestos contractors to carry out asbestos removal works. Asbestos Contractors fall into two categories: non-licensed and licensed.

Licensed contractors receive a licence from the HSE to work with licensable asbestos materials. You need a licence if you are going to work on the higher risk materials such as asbestos insulating board, pipe insulation and spray coatings.

The license will need to be approved by a HSE inspector. This is now done online which has caused a lot of disruption and delays. If you are employing a licensed contractor and their license is about to expire, it may be worth contacting them to ensure they have everything in place.

If you employ them to do a job and halfway through their licence expires and isn’t renewed, they cannot trade or work and you will be left with an asbestos enclosure with no work being undertaken.

What do you need to check on a licence?

One thing to check for is additional conditions. There are always a standard set of conditions but sometimes some contractors are given additional conditions. For instance, we know of a company that was required to send in audits every three months to the HSE.

Non-licensed asbestos contractors

There is no policing of non-licensed contractors. There are regulations in place but there is no external body checking that they are okay to do that type of work and they are competent. The onus is on the employer to make sure they are competent.

Asbestos Contractor

What should you expect of non-licensed asbestos contractors?

Firstly, have they got the right risk assessment, and plan of works for the type of works that you are planning to employ them for? You need to make sure they have the correct experience and the paperwork to back it up.

That leads on to training. Have they had the right training? They need to have some evidence of non-licensed training. It’s the same for the licensed contractors – they need licensed operative and supervisor training.

You also need to know if they have got the right PPE, including respirators, coveralls and the right equipment for the job. As standard, we would expect them to use a Type-H vacuum cleaner which is DOP tested every 6 months. They should also make sure the waste is disposed of correctly. You should make sure the waste company is also licensed to deal with asbestos.

With a non-licensed contractor you have a lot more responsibility to ensure that these things are put in place.

Insurance companies purposefully exclude asbestos from policies as it can lead to huge payouts. For your peace of mind, you must ensure your contractor is insured.

If the works are notifiable, the contractors also need to put in a notification before work starts. The licensed notice period is 14 days and for non-licensed work it is before work starts so that could be 14 days or it could be the morning of the works.

They also have to keep health records for operatives or anyone undertaking non licensed works and that has to be kept on record for those employees.

In summary – what should you look for in an asbestos contractor?

Look for any accreditations, certifications and ISOs as these build up a picture of legitimacy and gives you some reassurance.

When it comes to insurance, always check that the right amount of cover is in place for your site or project. When asbestos removal jobs go wrong they can cost millions to put right.

We’re a professional asbestos consultancy helping businesses deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveysasbestos testing, and asbestos removal.

Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation

If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or email [email protected]

Ian Stone

I am based out of our Northampton office but regularly travel to meet with new and existing clients. I have assisted thousands of clients over the years on varying sized projects, several have been schemes totalling over one million pounds spend purely on asbestos. Together with Neil Munro, I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I am Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

Non licensed contractor

What you need to know about non-licensed asbestos contractors?

We recently had a query from one of our clients that we wanted to share with you in this blog. They are a contractor working in the commercial and retail sectors and occasionally they have to remove bolts from floors which may contain asbestos. Their query was about wearing the correct PPE (personal protective equipment) and RPE (respiratory protective equipment) to carry out the work safely. …

Read MoreWhat you need to know about non-licensed asbestos contractors?

Asbestos Emergencies

Asbestos emergencies – what to do?

In this blog we will discuss asbestos and emergency situations. We will look at what can go wrong, who can be affected and how to control and minimise risks from those situations. Who is at risk? To begin with we need to consider who is at risk of coming into contact with asbestos. It comes down to a list of people …

Read MoreAsbestos emergencies – what to do?

Asbestos Insulating Board

Asbestos insulating boards and the problems with their removal

Asbestos insulating boards are boards that have a high asbestos content usually containing Amosite (Brown) and can also contain Chrysotile (White) asbestos. When you look at an unpainted board you can see the asbestos fibres. The boards can be easily damaged and can easily release asbestos fibres. They tend to be off white or grey …

Read MoreAsbestos insulating boards and the problems with their removal

What does asbestos look like

What is asbestos?

This is a question we get asked a lot. But, for the purposes of this blog, we think it is worth exploring what asbestos isn’t. Firstly, there is a big misconception that asbestos is man-made, but that’s not the case. The shortest and easiest way to describe asbestos is that it is a mineral which …

Read MoreWhat is asbestos?

Asbestos Removal in hot conditions

Life-Changing issues surrounding asbestos removal in hot conditions

Working with asbestos brings many complications and there are many risks which need to be assessed and actions are taken to reduce those risks. However, asbestos removal in hot conditions can pose a significate risk to the health of the workers involved. Examples of asbestos removal in hot conditions Asbestos removal quite often happens in …

Read MoreLife-Changing issues surrounding asbestos removal in hot conditions

Asbestos awareness training (2)

Don’t forget your legal duty to provide asbestos awareness training

Asbestos awareness training enables workers who are likely to come into contact with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) to recognise and avoid disturbing them. In doing so, they protect their own health and safety, as well as that of their co-workers and people nearby. This type of training is particularly important for tradespeople and construction-related workers, including …

Read MoreDon’t forget your legal duty to provide asbestos awareness training

Asbestos Emergency

6 Actions To Take In An Asbestos Emergency

When you’re caught up in an asbestos emergency it can be difficult to think clearly and react appropriately to minimise your own exposure, and that of those around you. Asbestos is a carcinogenic material and has the potential to cause life-threatening disease, so what should you do in the event of an asbestos emergency? If …

Read More6 Actions To Take In An Asbestos Emergency

DSCF0564 e1431533668372

How dangerous is asbestos?

Asbestos continues to cause serious health concerns even though the substance was banned in the UK in 1999. Originally used for fireproofing and insulating, and typically encased in concrete and other building materials, it’s been the subject of controversy for decades. So exactly how dangerous is asbestos, and why is there such a risk associated …

Read MoreHow dangerous is asbestos?

Acorn Square Service 1

What are the 6 Main Types of Asbestos and how were they used?

Asbestos is a collection of naturally occurring minerals extensively used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries from the 1950s until the 1980s. There are 6 main types of asbestos, which can be categorised into the Serpentine and Amphibole families. The fibres of Serpentine asbestos are softer and more flexible when compared with the Amphibole family, …

Read MoreWhat are the 6 Main Types of Asbestos and how were they used?

Asbestos Awareness Training Session image

What makes asbestos awareness training so crucial?

The considerable harm that the once widely used construction and insulation material known as asbestos can cause is thankfully now widely known. So with that in mind, what role does asbestos awareness training play, who could benefit from it, and how could they benefit from it? Asbestos awareness training is relevant and useful to a …

Read MoreWhat makes asbestos awareness training so crucial?