We would summarise our year as: Repeat work, new client industries, and referrals from happy clients.
Previously, 2020 involved lots of large asbestos surveys and Project Management of removal projects at vacated premises. This ensured safety and legal compliance for staff returns and maintenance that normally would not be done due to site shutdown timeframes. It has been nice this year to see many clients back at their place of work. Safety procedures are of course still in place for control of infection.
Growth this year has comprised lots of repeat work and complex work such as surveying multi-site businesses and large and varied sites requiring careful planning and scheduling. We are also helping clients to manage their obligations for reinspections – completing these efficiently through high-quality initial inspections and effective management plans.
Our projects have included asbestos surveying of an old train carriage, a castle, grade 1 and 2 listed buildings including a hotel, offices, retail stores, manufacturing facilities, care settings, and homes, for owners and landlords.
Survey work is triggered by factors such as planned maintenance, reactive maintenance (if it results in the need to access parts of a building or its fabric not previously covered), demolition work, or the sale of properties.
An interesting recent project was the surveying of communal areas of a block of flats managed by a residents committee. The need was triggered by one of the owners selling a flat and being notified by a solicitor that the communal areas had not previously been surveyed. It’s just as well this was identified because three high-risk items were found and removed. Further low-risk asbestos in the form of tiles under carpets was managed by setting procedures for its removal on next replacing the carpets. This was on the grounds that it was safe, providing that no degradation of the carpets occurred and the current securing of the carpets remained in place and the floor tiles are managed in situ and removed when the carpets are due for replacement.
We also have some interesting work lined up in the new year – including a demolition survey of two jetties. Being in water presents a unique environment requiring specialist risk assessments and the use of a boat.
Project management of asbestos removal
More survey work has inevitably resulted in some asbestos removal requirements and we have managed these projects for many of our clients.
Even small and ‘straightforward’ asbestos removals require professional oversight. Our clients value the time saving which comes from having us ensure the right contractors for the right parts of the job, coordination between contractors, scheduling of work, health and safety management of the work (from a consultant with NEBOSH and various asbestos management qualifications), and the effort to minimise disruption to client work.
We have enjoyed working with two multinational businesses – one based in Geneva and one in Amsterdam.
One of these projects was an asbestos survey in advance of the conversion of manufacturing facilities to accommodate a new kind of work.
The other involved ongoing asbestos surveys and reinspections, project management of removal projects on multiple factories, and the updating of the individual sites asbestos management plans. We have doubled the amount of work that we have done with this client.
Environmental Inspection the preferred choice for clients and partners
A 100% increase in work with a multinational company certainly shows the value that they place on our work.
Our thorough approach includes sampling where samples were previously assumed not necessary. This either identifies asbestos that was previously unknown or it gives added assurance.
Asbestos surveys on listed buildings
A project that we carried out for a hotel in a listed building involved not just surveys but developing an Asbestos Management Plan specific to their circumstances that was easy for their management team to follow and understand.
That company had a previous survey that was very basic and not understood well by the Duty Holders and took a bit of time even for Environmental Inspection to get our heads around. Also, the legislation had changed twice since then. The days of a tick-box survey by the ‘expert’ in technical language are long gone. So, we helped to ensure they were fully compliant via a comprehensive survey with an accessible report and full management plan. This details where all known asbestos is or was located, what mitigation is being used, and the frequency of required reinspections. Complete compliance was then achieved with asbestos awareness training for the maintenance teams.
So, in advance of the planned refurbishment, the client had everything they needed. We even managed the work on a rolling basis across the 40 rooms, a few rooms at a time, to avoid any impact on current operations.
Full-spectrum of legal compliance including asbestos awareness training
We have seen an increase in demand for our training offering – including by a multinational company with maintenance staff at multipole sites, UK wide. We deliver ‘category A’ training and partner with another provider where ‘category B’ training is required.
Legionella risk assessments
This aspect of our work has also benefitted from repeat work and client referrals, demonstrating an appreciation of our approach.
We have even done both asbestos and legionella work for some clients, including those at heritage sites and care settings.
We fully believe that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly. This means being as thorough as the circumstances and risk profile requires. Communication between us, the clients, and all contractors is key to achieving it.