How do you get the right asbestos contractor?

Licences blog pic sml

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 air testing, and asbestos removal management. 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 Contact Us

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 spent 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

Mesothelioma can affect anyone of any age

Raising awareness of mesothelioma – a deadly cancer which kills 2,500 people every year

AS Global Asbestos Awareness Week draws to a close, we felt it was important to shine a light on the work of Mesothlioma UK, a charity which is close to all our hearts. For many years, Acorn Analytical Services has been very proud to support the work of this amazing charity which supports people living … Read more

Asbestos: Dispelling 3 common myths

Asbestos: Dispelling the myths surrounding a hidden killer which threatens us all

What does asbestos mean to you? For the vast majority of people it’s just a building material from the past, something they may know is dangerous, but something they rarely – if ever – think about. But what if we were to tell you that you are surrounded by asbestos, that despite being banned more … Read more

Asbestos isn't a headache with the Acorn Compliance Antidote

Asbestos isn’t a problem with the Acorn Compliance Antidote

AT Acorn Analytical Services we’re probably best known for the work we do supporting businesses with asbestos surveys and asbestos management. But did you also know that we offer a full package of health and safety services through our Acorn Compliance Antidote? The antidote is the perfect way to get all your health and safety … Read more

Asbestos consultancy celebrates the opening of new regional office

Asbestos company celebrates the opening of new regional office in Wolverhampton

EARLIER this month the team at Acorn Analytical Services was delighted to welcome the Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre and the Deputy Mayoress, Lynn Plant to the opening of our new asbestos management office in Wolverhampton. It was a very proud day for regional manager, Lewis Scott and his team, and Acorn’s … Read more

Emma Gooding, one of our women in construction

Women in Construction: Highlighting the work of two incredible women at the heart of our team

HIGHLY-SKILLED, talented women in construction are right at the heart of Acorn Analytical Services’ success, taking on key roles within our business and leading the fight against the UK’s asbestos epidemic. In recent years, many more women in construction have chosen to take on roles within the asbestos industry and at Acorn we do everything … Read more

Asbestos Book

Asbestos: The Dark Arts – essential reading for anyone involved in health and safety this World Book Day

AS well as being part of one of the UK’s leading asbestos consultancies, Acorn Analytical Services’ directors Ian Stone and Neil Munro have also written best-selling books on asbestos and health and safety. The books, which include their five-star rated title Asbestos: The Dark Arts, have quickly become essential reading to anyone involved in facilities … Read more

Asbestos bitesize training sessions for you and your business

Asbestos: Free bitesize sessions from the experts at Acorn will help keep your team protected from this hidden killer

IT may have been banned from new buildings more than 20 years ago but asbestos still poses a huge threat to the health and wellbeing of our society. Thousands of buildings – including many schools – still contain asbestos which can go on to cause deadly cancer if it is damaged or disturbed releasing microscopic … Read more

Asbestos analyst Jake is a shining star

Asbestos analyst Jake is a shining example of how apprenticeships can be a huge success for everyone

IT’S National Apprenticeship Week and what better way to celebrate than by shining the spotlight on asbestos analyst, Jake Newell. Jake joined Acorn Analytical Services as an apprentice in 2021 and since then he has completed his training, shown outstanding commitment and dedication to his role and been recognised for his efforts by winning – … Read more

2022 - A big year in the fight against asbestos

2022: A big year for Acorn Analytical Services in the fight against a hidden killer

2022 was a big year for the team of experts at multi award-winning asbestos management consultancy, Acorn Analytical Services. It was a year which saw the business grow and develop, we took on new staff and we helped support businesses, charities and organisations right across the UK by helping to manage their asbestos and raise … Read more

Asbestos awareness: Education is key

Asbestos awareness: ‘Educating the public is key’

WHEN it comes to raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos, education and training are absolutely key. With so much advice out there, it can be difficult to know where to turn for information you can trust and training which is tailored to suit your individual needs. To mark national Day of Education, the team … Read more