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

Management Survey 4

Why are asbestos reinspections so important?

For duty holders, a vital element of asbestos management is checking the condition of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) on a regular basis. This is done via asbestos reinspections, and involves materials that have already been identified as containing asbestos. An asbestos reinspection ensures asbestos containing materials have not degraded to the extent where they might …

Read MoreWhy are asbestos reinspections so important?

Asbestos awareness training

Property managers – don’t forget asbestos awareness training

As a property manager you’re probably already aware of the dangers of asbestos in commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, but do you know that if you’re an employer you should provide asbestos awareness training to certain members of staff? It’s obligatory for employers in the UK to provide asbestos awareness training to employees who are …

Read MoreProperty managers – don’t forget asbestos awareness training

Asbestos in schools

What you need to know about asbestos in schools

Asbestos was widely used in the construction of school buildings from the 1950s onwards, and although it was banned at the end of 1999, the substance remains present in many of our educational establishments. Dealing with asbestos in schools isn’t a straightforward issue, however, and it’s not always the best policy to remove it. Health …

Read MoreWhat you need to know about asbestos in schools

Asbestos on beaches

Asbestos on Beaches in the UK: Cautionary Advice

Several incidents of asbestos on our beaches have occurred in recent years, raising serious concerns for public health. Some cases are thought to have been caused by fly tipping, whilst others potentially the result of asbestos materials being washed ashore.  The closure of Mount Batten beach in Plymouth in April highlights the problem of asbestos …

Read MoreAsbestos on Beaches in the UK: Cautionary Advice

Repair 3

Asbestos safety: what you need to know as a tradesperson!

Asbestos Safety – even though asbestos was banned in 1999, the substance remains an extremely dangerous presence in our older buildings. It has the potential to cause life-changing and terminal disease, which is why asbestos safety is an important part of everyday working life as a tradesperson. If you work in the trades the chances …

Read MoreAsbestos safety: what you need to know as a tradesperson!

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

What happens to asbestos waste

In this episode Ian and Neil provide a brief overview of what happens to asbestos waste following removal.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Interview with asbestos expert – Neil Munro

In this episode Ian takes on the role of interviewer to interview Neil. Posing questions around asbestos management, Neil’s career route and his take on the asbestos industry.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Interview with asbestos expert – Ian Stone

In this episode Neil takes on the role of interviewer to interview Ian. Posing questions around asbestos management, Ian’s career route and his take on the asbestos industry.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Asbestos Material Risk Assessments & Priority Risk Assessments

In this episode Ian and Neil talk through the algorithms of asbestos material assessments and priority risk assessments. These assessments are essential to asbestos management and understanding them is key.

Asbestos Knowledge Empire Podcast

Asbestos Emergencies – What to do

In this episode Ian and Neil explain asbestos emergency situations, when and why these may happen and what to do to minimise exposure.