Everyone is aware of how untrustworthy contractors and consultants can make property problems worse, with overpriced, unreliable or inaccurate services that negatively impact on projects.
No client wants to deal with the safety ramifications, nor negative publicity, fines and prosecution following a problematic asbestos issue. That’s why it’s important to conduct thorough research into the asbestos consultants and asbestos removal contractors that you intend to appoint.
We’ve outlined the top risks associated with appointing the wrong asbestos consultants and contractors, from non-compliance and wasting budget to putting people’s safety at risk. Read on to discover more…
1. Non-compliance with asbestos regulations and legislation
If you or your appointed asbestos contractors or asbestos consultants do not comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, associated Approved Codes of Practice and guidance documents, the implications could be negative for your business.
Some typical requirements or recommendations include:
- Conducting refurbishment asbestos surveys prior to building works.
- The need to conduct surveys according to HSG 264 standards and conducting Priority Assessments to HSG 227 standards.
- Requesting surveying organisations are accredited to IS017020 by UKAS.
- Ensuring ARCA / ATAC membership of contractors and consultants.
Failure to comply with regulations, ACOPS and guidance that are relevant to your situation could result in fines or prosecution. Ensure you research the consultancy or contractors fully, prior to their appointment.
2. Health and safety of staff, visitors, contractors and residents
A major component of any asbestos job is conducting risk assessments to determine and mitigate hazards. The health and safety of staff, visitors, contractors and residents within your property, is imperative to any job and must not be taken lightly.
You don’t want to invest your time and budget in a consultancy or contractor that does not fully understand the working requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act, or the plethora of regulations that fall under it. A few starters for consideration here are:
- Can the consultants or contractors demonstrate their health and safety policies and procedures are robust – are they ISO18001 compliance for example? Are they members of or accredited by a relevant health and safety assessment scheme such as CHAS?
- Are Risk Assessment Method Statements comprehensive, site specific and fit for purpose?
- Do they have in-house qualified H&S experts (for example through NEBOSH) who are able to actively guide and influence their procedures?
3. Wasting budget and time
Budgeting and programming are always important parts of any asbestos surveying or remediation project. How can you get your projects completed on budget and on time?
The wrong asbestos consultant or contractor could pose a threat to keeping within budget or programme if they:
- Charge in an ad-hoc manner and not in accordance to fixed schedule of rate charges.
- Request unexpected variations due to poorly detailed specifications of work.
- Over-inflate time or material based charges.
- Under estimate the time requirements of a project
- Under resource the project due to competing demands from other clients or through a general inability to recruit or retain staff.
In addition to budgetary pressure, delays in asbestos surveying or remediation programmes could result in subsequent delays in follow on trades and the overall programmes of refurbishment, dissatisfied residents or occupants, reputational damage and personal accountability failings.
Mitigate the risks
The three risks outlined above could happen to anyone if they place their project in the hands of the wrong asbestos consultant or contractor. To mitigate these risks it’s important to appoint reliable, trustworthy contractors and consultants who can complete your job safely, professionally, on time and on budget.
In our guide to Appointing A Reliable Asbestos Consultant, we outline exactly how to choose the right consultant for the job. You’ll discover more about:
- The accreditations to look out for when choosing a certified asbestos consultant
- The services a reliable contractor should offer
- Contractual certainty and surveying points to consider