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Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead

We acted as the principle contractor for the licensed removal of higher risk asbestos materials prior to the demolition of the Gynaecology department the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, on behalf of the Gateshead Health NHS Trust.

Providing a full asbestos management service, we were responsible for helping compile the removal specification and selecting an appropriate, reputable, licensed contractor to carry out the work. A wide range of material types were removed from the site, including asbestos pipework insulation with associated residues and insulating board (AIB). In all, 12 controlled removal enclosures were set up to ensure that the removals were kept to manageable sizes: all these included leak testing and personal monitoring tests for the duration. On completion of each enclosure a four stage clearance was carried out to ensure that the area was suitable for reoccupation, before moving onto the next.

Some of the materials were removed using a method known as ‘quilling’, whereby high pressure water is used to remove imbedded and difficult to clean residues. In such circumstances, conventional air monitoring and analysis techniques using phase contrast microscopy are not viable due to water being present on the sample filters. In order to overcome this, we used Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and were able to demonstrate that the airborne asbestos fibre levels were being safely controlled.

We were visited twice by an officer from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to check the facilities and working conditions of both removals and analytical procedures. The HSE were happy with their findings.

The project ran from 18th April 2016 to 13th June 2016 and was completed on time.

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“Franks Portlock provided first class management and control of the project and excellent communication throughout.”

– Colin Trail, Health and Safety Advisor at QE Facilities