Asbestos analyst in PPE

2021 has seen the publication of a revised edition of HSG248 Asbestos: The analysts’ guide for sampling, analysis and clearance procedures. A document that was first published in 2005 and contains guidance for analysts involved in asbestos work. It is the authoritative source of asbestos analytical procedures for consultancies such as Scientific Services within the U.K.

To support the update of this guide, the HSE completed an inspection programme of asbestos analysts’ work throughout 2014 and 2015. It focused in particular on the practices and standards of the four stage clearance procedure. The test required following a licensed asbestos removal project. One key area highlighted, is that of professional standards.

Professional Standards | Impartiality & Independence

The notable points in relation to this are outlined below:

  • All analysts must ensure impartiality and independence for site clearance and certification. It is a requirement for accreditation. Scientific Services is independent from removal contractors; with no shared directorships or common management. This supports the impartiality and integrity of our analytical consultancy.
  • It is strongly recommended that analysts are appointed independently by the building owner or occupier. Not the asbestos removal contractor. This helps to prevent conflicts of interest on site (perceived or real). Failed enclosures can have significant cost implications for the contractors, but it is in the interest of the building/site owner to ensure that only safe enclosures are passed for re-occupation. The analysts can also help to mediate any issues that arise between the client and the removals contractor.
  • Any financial/commercial links between asbestos removal contractors and analytical companies must be confirmed in writing. All of Scientific Services’ sub-contracted work is cleared defined in our quotations. With the associated costs split out for transparency and clarity.
  • All asbestos analysts should have access to impartiality policies and procedures to support their work. A copy of Scientific Services’ policy can be found on our company website.

Our analysts play an important role in protecting people’s health. They act competently and professionally whilst measuring and identifying asbestos. Their practices will adhere to the methods outlined within this document.

The updated guidance takes into account legal changes, findings from the health and safety executive (HSE)’s interventions and developments in analytical procedures and methods. The document provides clarification on technical and personal safety issues, particularly in relation to four stage clearances. For the first time, it now includes clear guidance on the assessment of soil and made grounds for asbestos.

Most useful to analysts, the document will also be informative for:

  • occupational hygienists;
  • safety professionals;
  • asbestos removal contractors;
  • building owners; and
  • any person responsible for managing asbestos in properties and estates.

To find out more about the change, please click here. 

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