Specifications for Asbestos Removal Works – What’s the Point?

boiler room

Why do we need specifications for removing asbestos? Surely, asbestos removal is just asbestos removal?

The truth is there are a million different ways to do asbestos removal. There are different ways to approach projects. The purpose of the specification is to get the clients the right end result.

For example, if you were having a boiler replaced, the main purpose of that project is to get rid of the boiler and replace it with a new boiler. However, there are other things relating to asbestos management that may not be considered when you look at that project with your blinkers on.

You need to consider things such as removing pipework and cleaning walls. The boiler room may have an asbestos insulating board ceiling. It doesn’t necessarily mean the ceiling has to be touched or replaced, however, it might be cheaper in the long run and better to get that ceiling removed during the project. The asbestos duty holder or asbestos manager should be involved in these decisions.

Asbestos Removal

Why is it so important to specify asbestos removal jobs?

It is important to specific asbestos removal jobs so you incorporate everything you want to happen. You need the specification to outline exactly what you want to happen so that anyone coming into those works can price the individual parts of the project. The specification gears up the different parties working on the project so that everyone works towards the same end result.

The asbestos contractor is important to these works and needs to be included in the specification. Removal contractors will look at jobs differently, it is really important to get the specification right for the asbestos contractor if you want consistency, the correct pricing and to guarantee the end result.

If we go back to our example of boiler rooms, if there is insulation residue and pipe work one contractor might allow to scrape and wire brush the walls but if they can’t get everything off the walls, the walls will need to be encapsulated. The question is – how clean is clean? If the specification has been done properly there will be no need for questioning as it will all be there in writing and all costed.

Consider a job where there is an asbestos ceiling featuring tiles in a grid system. One contractor would look at pricing it to remove the asbestos insulating board tiles and then drill out the grid and leave the grid in situ. Another would look at dropping the tiles and the grid which gives you two issues. One, if you were planning on using that grid for your new ceiling and your ceiling is gone, you have got a massive addition to your budget because you will have to replace that and some contractors would suggest removing the timbers would be an easier route.

With a proper specification in place you ensure you get what you want and that everyone is pricing on a level playing field. If they are not given a specification, they will price it as they see fit and they will steer you into the ways which are best for them, not you.

When we take on a job, we speak to the contractor and duty holder and will question them about the who, why, what and where to make sure we get the right result for the client.

Who should produce the asbestos removal specification?

For smaller projects you might be happy putting the specification together yourself or you might need assistance. We would definitely suggest speaking to your consultant and get them to assist you. Remember, if you haven’t got the right specification, you won’t get the right job and it won’t get done at the right price.

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 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.

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