Under the Control of Asbestos in the Workplace Act of 2004, it is the responsibility of the duty holder of any non-domestic building to manage asbestos. In order to manage asbestos adequately, the duty holder needs to ascertain whether and where asbestos is present and this is where asbestos surveys come in.
A survey will:
• Find and record the location of asbestos-containing materials (ACM), as well as how much asbestos is present
• Assess and record how easily accessible the ACM is and what condition it is in
• Record what type of asbestos is present, usually through taking samples
There are two main types of asbestos survey: the management survey and the refurbishment/demolition survey.
Management surveys are designed to identify and manage asbestos-containing materials (ACM) which are a risk during the day-to-day occupation of a commercial building. A surveyor can help you carry out this type of survey.
The purpose of a management asbestos survey is to ensure that:
• ACM within machinery or the premises will not harm the occupants as they go about their daily business
• ACM are in good repair
• ACM will not be disturbed, either on purpose or by accident
The survey will identify ACM that could easily be damaged or disturbed through routine workplace activities. A degree of minor asbestos disturbance will be required so that a Materials Assessment can be made. This helps the surveyor to ascertain the way that fibres are released and enables them to create an asbestos management plan and suggest any remedial work that may be required.
Refurbishment/demolition asbestos surveys This type of survey will be required whenever any refurbishment or demolition work is planned within the building.
The purpose of a refurbishment/demolition survey is:
• To make sure that the renovation work won’t damage or disturb any ACM
• To ensure that the work will be done by a contractor who understands the asbestos risks. The survey will identify where ACM are located in the premises (before any refurbishment or demolition work begins). Some asbestos disturbance is required and staff must not be in the area during the survey. They can only return once the area has been deemed safe by the surveyor.
A professional and qualified surveyor will carry out these asbestos surveys for you to help you ensure you always meet your duty to manage asbestos.
The Mold Remediation Process – Protection Levels for Mold Removal
Though Mold is an omnipresent material, many forms of it can be quite toxic and hazardous. Mold can cause a variety of help problems that produce symptoms ranging from the extremely mild to serious and sometimes even leading to death. When Mold assessment occurs, the contamination are given are rating, generally from I-III and sometimes a Level IV. The Mold remediation process determines which level of protection is required for the remediation/removal workers.
LEVEL I – Level I is designated for “small isolated areas”. This means Level I protection is required for areas of roughly 10 sq ft. This applies to things like ceiling tiles, or small floor or wall areas.
Specialized staff are not required, though they should be trained in proper cleaning and removal methods. This includes proper protection equipment. OHSA training standards required.
Dust suppression recommended.
Respiratory protection recommended (respirators or masks).
Unclean-able materials should be properly sealed and disposed of.
Immediate workspace is not to be occupied, adjacent areas OK except for small children.
Worker entrance/exit should be cleaned with detergent and damp mop.
Work Areas, entrance /exits should be free of visible dust or debris and dry upon completion.
LEVEL II – Level II is designated for “mid-sized isolated areas”. This covers a range of 10-30 sq ft (objects such as individual wallboard panels or ceiling panels).
Workspace and respiratory rules match that of Level II (No special staff required).
All surfaces under threat of contamination should be covered with secure plastic sheets.
Dust Suppression via misting of surfaces is again recommended.
Worker entrance/exit areas should be cleaned with HEPA vacuum and mild detergent.
Again, all areas should be free of visible dust or debris and be dry as well
LEVEL III – Level III covers “large isolated areas” the equivalent of 30-100 sq ft (areas of multiple floor or wall panels, etc).
Special staff requirements: Industrial hygienists or similarly trained environmental health and safety professionals with microbial investigatory experience (Mold remediation).
Again, securely cover all uncontaminated surfaces to prevent further spread.
All air ventilation systems in the work area and adjacent areas should be sealed with plastic.
Respirators, gloves and eye protection should be used per OHSA requirements.
Dust Suppression is required.
Items unable to be cleaned must be sealed and removed from site.
Cleanup along with exits/entrances as in previous Levels.
LEVEL IV – Level IV covers “extensive contamination”. This pertains to areas of 100 sq ft or greater; whole rooms to complete buildings.
Specialized Staff trained in hazardous material handling required.
Full face respirators with HEPA cartridges required.
Work area should be completely isolated, via plastic sheeting, duct tape, etc. This extends to all possible openings, ducts, grills, fixtures, etc.
Decontamination room with airlocks, combined with HEPA filter exhaust fan for negative pressurization required.
Removed materials must be sealed prior to removal and disposal.
Before isolation barriers are removed, full HEPA vacuuming and cleaning with detergent solutions are required.
After any Level of Mold remediation and removal is performed a re-evaluation and inspection should take place to determine the success of the operation. The above are requirements for professional removal of Mold. Know what to expect when you hire a company to inspect and remove Mold from any property. When you select a company be sure to research them thoroughly. Trust a local, qualified business with a proven record for Mold removal, remediation and assessment.
Most old buildings have a great deal of asbestos in them and chances of your exposure to them can be quite high. Considering the dangers that are now associated with exposure to asbestos, it is mandatory for every organization owner to conduct a survey on their property to identify potential sites on the property where asbestos is present and then provide measures to deal with it. Of course if you do not have this survey conducted you leave yourself open to legal repercussions. People exposed can end up suffering from a range of illnesses and one of them is mesothelioma which can be fatal. You can be sued for negligence.
An asbestos survey is generally conducted by experts in the field. You can ask for recommendations from similar businesses around you. You have to know that there are two kinds of asbestos survey. One is called the management survey and the other a refurbishment or demolition survey. If you are looking to have your property inspected and all the asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) to be identified, then the management survey is what you opt for. Once you know where the asbestos is, the surveyors will give you details on how it can be dealt with. On the other hand if you are the owner of a property and you would like to demolish it, then the refurbishment survey is what should be conducted before you actually demolish it. This will give you an idea of how to deal with it.
In the survey, the expert will walk over every inch of your property. They will go over every space looking for asbestos. As experts they will know where to look for it, in common as well as not so common places. This will look through all your service routes as well as pipe runs and ceiling voids. Once they find the asbestos they will look into how old it is, its current state, if it is deteriorating and at what rate.
The surveyor will also look around for ACMs which means they will look under tiles, open up your risers and lift your carpets. This gives them as much access to the premise as possible. There is chance that some of the asbestos they find will be difficult to pull out completely. In such cases you will have to keep a look at the ACM and measure its rate of deterioration.
Once your survey is complete, it can hold good for a year. Following this you will have to repeat the process to determine the condition of any asbestos that has remained behind.
If you’re planning to buy or refinance a property you already own, you’ll want to know that your money is well invested. One of the steps you must take to ensure that this is the case is an assessment of the property you plan to purchase or refinance. An environmental assessment is a thorough examination of the property to ensure that it is safe and that there are not any hazards associated with it, such as Mold, asbestos, or contaminated soil.
Environmental site assessment is generally made up of two different phases: Phase I assessment and Phase II assessment. Not all properties are going to have to undergo both phases. If you choose a Phase I assessment for your property and nothing is found to indicate environmental hazards, then you will not have to move on to the second phase. If, however, there is any indication that certain hazards exist, a more detailed examination of the property will be necessary.
Phase I Assessment
A Phase I assessment of your commercial or residential property is the first step you will take in order to ensure that the property is safe and worth investing in. When you choose to go through with this, an
environmental consultant will take long look at the property in order to identify any hazards that might devalue the property and make it unsafe. This usually begins with testing for Mold and asbestos. A Phase I assessment also often includes:
A review of property records to determine prior property usage
An examination of surrounding properties to identify environmental risks
A review of local, state, federal, and tribal records pertaining to the property
An examination of aerial photos to determine water drainage and runoff
Phase II Assessment
If the Phase I assessment showed any indication of hazards on your property, then you will be advised to go through further environmental assessments. A Phase II assessment is the next step, and it’s a more rigorous examination of the property. This type of environmental site assessment is going to require testing of the property’s building materials, soil, and groundwater. In addition, Phase II assessment often includes:
Installing groundwater monitoring equipment
A chemical analysis of samples taken from the site
A remediation plan designed to remove the environmental hazards at the site
As you can see, environmental assessments are important in helping buyers and sellers understand just how safe a property is. If you’re considering purchasing a residential or commercial property, and you want the peace of mind of such an assessment, you should contact environmental consultants in your area as soon as possible.
In the movie Erin Brockovich, the character of Julia Roberts was neck-deep in investigation about the suspicious activities of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which led to the eventual poisoning and death of the residents nearby the area. After going through a series of unproductive meetings among lawyers, residents and owners the company was soon charged of buying a piece of land that was already contaminated. So what does the movie have to do with you, you ask? It tells you that you can avoid this situation by getting an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) for your subject property.
Of course, nobody wants his company to undergo the same mishaps as seen in the movie. Court trials are time consuming and litigation lawyers charge too expensively that you just want to settle things under the table. Plus a suspicious site would lessen its credibility and drive people away from it.
Naturally, you would want to retain the value of your property and not get into any kind of legal trouble of any sort. You can do this through Environmental Site Assessment. Some of you, like me, are probably still wondering what this program can do for your company. Through Phase 1 ESA, you can rest assured that your property is free from potential environmental liabilities like toxicity or contamination. Professional consultants will determine whether the land you own or are planning to buy is a potential environmental threat because, or what are better known as “brownfield sites”.
In the 1970s, a similar study was done in the United States to inspect commercial properties and to test them whether they are potentially hazardous to health. Now, the US has stricter monitoring than ever when it comes to environmental issues. Before you could actually have an acquisition or a management buy-out, you need to abide first by the environmental due diligence-a kind of investigation which identifies environmental hazards. It will give you details on how a former or a current operation poses a potential risk for your employees and nearby residents.
The inspection will tell you in detail the history of the chosen property, how the former operations contributed to possible environmental hazards, and how you could verify legal compliance from regulation authorities.
Tests are conducted by industrial hygiene consultants. These professionals see to it that every nook and cranny of your would-be land acquisition is scrutinized, looking for loopholes such that lead to toxicological risks. A property condition assessment is done to check whether if the health and safety requirements mandated by the State are met. Industrial hygiene consultants perform samplings and assessments, all of which are then turned over to an accredited laboratory for further evaluation. They also see to it that investigations, which include an expert witness testimony and an assessment of workers compensations claims, are done in a discreet and professional manner.
Aside from industrial hygiene consultants, you may also seek help from other companies on environmental engineering services. The services included on this one are feasibility studies, construction oversight, waste management consultation and other facility design services. You can address the underlying issues of pollution or contamination through environmental remediation. Avoid getting into grave legal issues on environmental safety by having your company go through Environmental Site Assessment.
The task of environmental consulting firm is important to our society; they offer an array of services towards assessment of business or industrial sites from an environmental point of view. The services the particular environmental consulting firm provides centers on the inspection of future development sites and remediation of sites that are detected having contamination problems which needs environmental services and remediation. They also aid clients and remediation contractors about very good environmental strategies for normal operations.
For the most part, environmental consulting firms have multi-disciplinary staff to address a variety of different concerns. They employ the help of competent employers like environmental scientists, chemists, environmental engineers, geologists and many other staff having scientific backgrounds.
A large environmental consulting firm might include a laboratory for conducting analyses of samples or the laboratory functions possibly are subcontracted to another facility. Plus some might also have remediation contractors.
Due to the increased focus on environmental concerns, new commercial development isn’t going to be pushed through without having some kind of environmental evaluation. A potential new owner often wants to know if perhaps there are any issues of contamination and does not desire to be answerable for them in case a remediation and environmental service is important. Potential developers are concerned with matters including groundwater contamination from petroleum products or pesticides or toxic contamination in buildings from asbestos, lead, or Mold. A preliminary environmental site assessment or an ESA is the normal 1st step to embark on.
The 1st step of ESA incorporates an evaluation of prior businesses conducted at the site, permits given for the site, as well as observations of the land and buildings for signs of conntamination. It would include the analysis of nearby properties, air quality issues, draining in addition to the topography of the site. Just in case the studies show possible issues, the potential developer may ask for a further assessment through actual soil, groundwater, and residue sampling. The sampling is conducted under the phase 2 of ESA.
If the outcomes of the sampling show a contamination problem then a phase 3 ESA will be started in order to plan and organize the property’s remediation. When the company is already aware about the contamination they may retain the services of an environmental consulting firm. The consultant is essential to manage the completion of the environmental services and remediation project. Projects including remediation and environmental services usually takes years and may necessitate a huge number of samples and the removal of large volumes of polluted material.
These stated consultants can at the same time offer environmental services to businesses to aid them get in compliance and stay in compliance with the myriad of environmental regulations that happen to be existing these days.
Hazardous material handling, underground storage tank management, storage, and shipping concerns, and development of spill prevention and control plans are the problems that may addressed by environmental consultants. In addition, some may also guide clients on the storage, and shipping concerns, and development of spill prevention and control plans measures that guarantee a secure and safe working environment for laborers.
They help corporations develop “green” architectural structures and lessen the carbon footprint of the operations. They also focus and evaluate a different area that is energy conservation so that you can save companies money and boost the business’ “environment friendly” level.
The kind of changes that need to be implemented in a manufacturing based business have altered in the last decade. A dramatic shift in focus towards greater efficiency, green technologies and a recycling ethic has given many managing directors plenty to think about. Changing a process is one thing, but the conception and evaluation elements are beyond a company director, and this is why Environmental Consultants are needed.
The kind of changes that an environment consultant will bring are varied, ranging from lean manufacturing techniques to reduce input against output through to carbon emissions and waste management. The waste management aspect is an area where many manufacturers fall down, having high levels of waste which isn’t treated in the right way. The government are offering big incentives in many formats to help reduce production waste, and a consultant will be aware of these.
With this type of service being a relatively new one when it comes to a business agenda, there are likely to be less firms offering a professional solution. Finding an environmental consultant in London for example is easy, as there are many choices available due to the high number of large organisations in the City. This shows that the population density of an area or county determines how many consultancies can service the region.
The best way to locate an environmental consultancy is through a directory, which will show the providers located closest to where you are. Many directories provide ratings and show the past projects, helping you to decide which one has the correct level of experience.
Hire Right Environmental Consultant For Your Business
If you are a business owner – whether your business is a small, local mom and pop type of enterprise or a huge, multinational corporation – you must be in compliance with the multitude of environmental regulations that have been formulated over the past decades.
And it actually does not matter one iota whether or not you are personally concerned about the environment. The reality is that you must be in compliance with the law or your company and your livelihood will face potentially stiff penalties.
Consequently, in today’s world of ever-increasing rules and regulations, it is absolutely necessary that you hire an environmental consultant.
That’s because environmental consultants will save you money and time. They will make sure that your company follows the law and that it does not take any unnecessary risks with your land, your production, your facility acquisitions or even how you store your products.
Realistically, as a business person your main responsibility is running your business successfully. So do you really have the time to constantly research the latest regulations and then figure out if they apply to your industry and, if they do, whether or not your company complies with them?
Therefore, before investing in any property or building any type of a structure, you will have to ensure that you will not be taking on any of the previous owners or occupants liabilities that are related to the property.
If you are contemplating investing in any property it is imperative that you pay particular attention to any pollutants that may be present.
To facilitate this you will need to hire a qualified environmental consultant who can perform an assessment. He or she will be able to first ascertain if there may be any contaminants and then perform the proper tests to determine if any of these contaminants are likely to be present.
It’s important to keep current with the law and consultants can help you to do that. New environmental requirements seem to surface every day and laws change on a relatively regular basis. There usually aren’t enough changes to warrant hiring a full time employee, but professional environmental consultants should be able to keep you up to date and out of trouble with city, state and federal regulators.
Keep in mind that not every environmental consultant is the same. So, before your contract anyone check their experience and their credentials. Their qualifications and levels of expertise vary. They may be either a state licensed professional engineer, or a technician who is only qualified to run various tests, or something in between.
Realize that you may not need to spend the extra money required to hire an engineer for a small project. But if you have a significant project then you won’t want to try to cut any corners, and getting an engineer’s approval should be part of your business plan.
In any case, you will always want to make sure that you are doing things safely and that you will not do anything that will cost you a lot more money down the line. It just makes good business sense.
There are several types of asbestos in the market and they are used for a number of construction purposes in commercial as well as residential structures. The main type of asbestos is the Chrysotile that forms part of the serpentine segment. You will find these largely used fire exits, as well as in construction adhesive. They are also used in plaster as well as texture coatings and form a part of vinyl tiles.
Amosite is a popular type of asbestos used in construction. They are primarily used in low density insulation as well as for those that cover chemical bases etc. Water and construction pipes too contain asbestos. There are several health hazards that are associated with asbestos and those it very important that an asbestos survey be carried out on commercial properties. This is to avoid complications that may arise later. Chrysotile has been found the be the cause of tumors in animals. Humans exposed to this for a long time may suffer from Mesothelimus as well as pleural plagues and what are known as Asbestos warts.
This is why asbestos has been banned in a few countries. However, there are several constructions that have asbestos in them and therefore it is necessary that regular asbestos surveys are conducted to ensure that they are still within the safe region to work with. This helps reduce the number of people suffering form illnesses as they are irreversible.
A qualified asbestos professional will be able to assess the content of asbestos in your construction as well as the extent of its durability. Most people are unaware that they work amidst asbestos. It is best to check with your employers and know for sure that you working in safe environs.
What the survey will basically do is check for its presence and its volume. The specialist will then look into the condition of the asbestos, how close is it placed to humans and the state of its surface. Based on this the surveyor will be able to judge whether asbestos is safe enough to work around. As long as the asbestos remains in one place and does not flake and fall on those around, it is safe enough to be around.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that has been used in the construction and modernization of buildings for many years. It may be present in many kinds of older building materials, such as: roof tiles, wall panels, floor tiles, insulation panels in storage heaters, packing between floors and partition walls, bath panels, airing cupboard walls, central heating flues, textured paint and plastering, garage and shed roofs, gutters and drainage pipes, pipe lagging, cement fireplace surrounds, and fuse boxes. The Health and Safety Executive offers extensive information and advice regarding the application and removal of asbestos.
If something is made of asbestos, you cannot tell just by looking at them. If you suspect a material contains asbestos, hire a licensed asbestos removal contractor to inspect and test the samples of the material. Persons certified as Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialists can identify, detect and assess asbestos-containing materials. Depending on the usage, activity and planned works of your building, these certified consultants survey your home, utilizing a systematic approach to recognize all suspected materials.
They perform three types of asbestos survey: Type 1 – Location and assessment survey (Presumptive or non intrusive survey), Type 2 – Standard sampling, identification and assessment survey (Sampling survey) and Type 3 – Full access sampling and identification survey (Pre-demolition/major refurbishment survey). After identifying the asbestos containing materials in the premises, they prepare a report that includes the approximate quantity of each material determined to contain asbestos.
If you wish to sample the suspected asbestos-containing material yourself, remember to take safety measures to protect yourself against the exposure of asbestos during sampling. The sample should be taken to an NVLAP Accredited Laboratory for Asbestos Bulk Analysis. Always seek expert advice before handling assumed asbestos-containing materials. Only employ a properly trained and experienced person to sample the assumed materials.