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NEW GUIDANCE ON MANAGING ASBESTOS RISK

Asbestos surveyor competence comes under HSE scrutiny

HSE has published Asbestos: The survey guide – HSG264 (free to download) aimed at CDM 2007 clients and others who need to commission asbestos surveys.

The simple message from HSE is that asbestos surveys are only effective if competent surveyors are employed to do them. 

A number of ‘road shows’ have already taken place, Further events are planned for Cardiff (19 May), Birmingham (16 June) and London (30 June). The roadshows are organised by the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and Asbestos Testing Consultancy (ATaC).

Competence link to accreditation/certification strengthened

The new guide stipulates that clients and other duty holders must only engage a surveying organisation that is competent. This can be demonstrated either through the organisation being accredited and/or individual surveyors having their own certification.

Dr Martin Gibson, author of the guide and HSE Principal Specialist Inspector said “ensuring that contractors are competent to do asbestos surveys should be a top priority for those responsible for managing the risks from asbestos.

“Those organisations or individuals without accreditation and/or certification will find it more difficult to demonstrate that they are competent, so by employing a contractor with accreditation and/or certification, dutyholders can better meet their legal requirements.”

HSE guide recommends use of accreditation bodies

The guide strongly recommends the use of UKAS accredited or ABICS certified surveyors for asbestos surveys

Martin Stear, Chair of ABICS said : “ABICS certification is a new scheme which certifies individuals, and has been introduced to expand the options for demonstrating competency.

Clients engaging certificated surveyors can be assured that surveys will be undertaken by competent people”.

Rob Bettinson of UKAS said: “UKAS accreditation for surveying companies is a well established scheme. Accredited organisations can demonstrate that not only do they have competent surveyors but they are also working within a well defined management system that provides confidence in the surveying procedures that are used.

Clients can have confidence that accredited surveyors will provide a quality service.”

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