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asbestos four stage clearance certification

Four Stage Asbestos Clearance

Franks Portlock is UKAS accredited to conduct four stage asbestos clearances, following licensed asbestos removal.

Asbestos is only dangerous where it becomes airborne as respirable fibres and as such control measures used to remediate or remove asbestos containing materials (ACMs) should reflect the relative ease by which these fibres could be released. Removal is by its nature is extremely disruptive and more friable materials such as insulating board, thermal insulation and sprayed coating require fully controlled conditions.

We appreciate that asbestos removal and remediation works can be confusing and intrusive, so we aim to work alongside you throughout the decision-making process to ensure you remain safe and compliant. We can even help draft specifications and source Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractors.

A certificate of reoccupation is required before anybody can safely enter an area subject to licensed asbestos work without PPE and full decontamination procedures and this certificate can only be issued once four distinct stages of assessment are complete.

Franks Portlock would always recommend the services of an analytical company independent of the removal contractors.

The four stages of the process are summarised below:

Stage 1: Preliminary check of site condition and job completeness

Our analyst will establish the scope of work and ascertain whether it has been carried out accordingly. They will also check the site files to ensure all associated information is present and up to date.

Once complete they will then conduct a visual assessment of the site to check that the removal enclosure is intact, that the site decontamination unit is operational and the work area, transit and waste routes are free from unnecessary clutter and any obvious contamination that has arisen as a result of the removal work.

Once we are happy these conditions are met and that we can begin an inspection of the work enclosure we sign off and move onto stage two.

Stage 2: A thorough visual inspection inside the enclosure/work area

Initially, the analyst will inspect the removal area to check for any residual material or fallen debris, but all areas of the enclosure, including the airlocks and baglocks, are debris and dust free.

Microscopic asbestos contamination is easily spread within the enclosure during the removal process so it is important to inspect all surfaces within the work area to ensure they have been suitably cleaned.

Once deemed clean to a suitable standard, the analyst can move onto stage three, otherwise the licensed contractor may be required to continue cleaning.

Stage 3: Air monitoring

Testing and analysis for asbestos fibres (including asbestiform fibres that fit the respirable criteria) is then carried out. The work enclosure is brushed at the start of the sample run to disturb any unseen fine settled dust that is likely to contain asbestos fibres. Such dust could give rise to high levels of exposure during the dismantling of the enclosure or subsequent cleaning/maintenance activities in the work area.

Samples are collected on filters which are removed from the enclosure and counted on-site using PCM (Phase Contrast Microscopy). Should the air tests be assessed as suitably clean, stage 3 can be signed of ready for the dismantling of the removal enclosure.

Stage 4: Final assessment post-enclosure/work area dismantling.

This is a ‘backstop’ to check for any materials released as the enclosure is taken down. It’s possible they were trapped within the folds of the enclosure material for example.

The analyst will check the more general work for any residual problems, including a revisit of the transit and waste routes.

Minor issues can normally be cleaned easily before the fourth stage is completed, but in extreme (and very rare) cases, the enclosure may need to be reinstated and the work redone.

Once all four stages are complete, and only after the fourth stage is signed off, a certificate of reoccupation is issued.

Note that further testing works associated with asbestos removal may be required and we can assist you with leak testing, personal sampling and pre-start background tests

If you have an issue with asbestos that needs to be removed or remediated, get in touch with your nearest Franks Portlock team today to discuss how to we can help you safely deal with it.

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