Somerset County Council
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Asbestos analysis and surveying

 

Asbestos is of particular concern due to the well-documented health problems associated with exposure to it. We can provide a comprehensive package to identify asbestos and to ensure its safe removal.  Our aim is to give advice, educate and provide scientific monitoring to ensure the protection of our employees and the public from exposure to asbestos.

About this service
Somerset Scientific Services' experienced asbestos team provides a full range of asbestos analysis, air monitoring and asbestos survey work including:

  • Advice on sampling and surveys. 
  • On- Site testing facilities - fully equipped mobile laboratory for carrying out site based air monitoring. 
  • Asbestos surveying - locating asbestos containing materials within buildings; sampling and analysing suspect materials; producing reports to provide an Asbestos register and practical advice concerning any remedial action required. 
  • Project management - ensuring that the performance and activities of contractors complies with agreed specifications.  
  • Asbestos identification - bulk analysis of samples suspected of containing asbestos. 
  • Air Monitoring - smoke and 4 stage clearance testing of enclosures. Reassurance and leak testing before during and /or after work involving asbestos. 
  • Training - Asbestos Awareness seminars and site/laboratory training in identification of asbestos materials for technical officers. 
  • Analysis interpretation 
  • Fast track turnaround available by arrangement.  

Who can use it?
The service undertakes work on a fee paying basis for:

  • County and District Councils 
  • Businesses of all sizes 
  • Members of the public 
  • Hospitals 

How do I use it?
Please contact us for further information on our services and advice on sampling. Quotations are available on request.

What is covered?
We offer a comprehensive service including: 

  • Data interpretation;  
  • advice on monitoring and sampling;  
  • advice on storage and transit;  
  • agreed turnaround times including fast tracking of urgent samples and 
  • results by email or on paper  

How long does it take?
Timescales are dependent on the tests required. Please contact us for further information. Quick turn-around times are available for bulk analysis of suspect materials by arrangement.

How much does it cost?
These are all chargeable services and up to date costs can be obtained by contacting us on 01823 355906.

Laws and regulation
Information on legislation can be found on the following site: Health and Safety Executive. Please refer to the Information and Resources section for a link to this website. 

Quality standards
We are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for testing and inspections (asbestos). UKAS inspect us every year. We participate in external proficiency testing schemes including RICE and AIMS. We are supported by a dedicated analytical quality control section. Links to our schedules of accreditation can be found in the Information and Resources section of this page.

Submitting a sample for Asbestos Analysis
If you require a sample to be analysed for the presence of asbestos it is of prime importance that the material is received into the laboratory 'double bagged'. This requires the sample being inserted into a single plastic bag and sealed, and then placed in a further plastic bag and sealed.

The sample can be sent by post or delivered by hand to the office. It must be accompanied by a letter requesting the analysis and giving information as to the address and location from which the sample was taken.

We can provide expert advice about general asbestos issues, such as identification and handling. We are internally responsible for the management of asbestos in our own properties. We have no enforcement powers and can only provide an advisory role in relation to workplace premises.

Who do I contact to find out more about asbestos disposal?
Somerset Waste Partnership, the Asbestos Team and Somerset Scientific Services can give you more information about: 

Asbestos - Fly tipping
For fly-tipped asbestos by the side of the highway or on Somerset County Council  land contact Somerset Waste Partnership who will arrange for a contractor to come out and collect the waste. Contact us on 01823 625700.

For advice on other fly tipped asbestos contact the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency has a free 24-hour hotline 0800 80 70 60 for people to report fly tipping.

Asbestos in domestic premises
For asbestos in council housing - contact your Local District Council. For asbestos in private domestic property contact your Local District Council or the Asbestos Team.

Asbestos in the workplace
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Local Authorities enforce asbestos issues in their workplace under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. For construction, manufacturing, agriculture - contact the HSE.  For shops, offices, warehouses - contact your Local District Council. The County Council is internally responsible for the management of asbestos in its own properties. It has no enforcement powers and can only provide an advisory role in relation to the above premises. Advice on the management of asbestos is available from the Asbestos Team in Somerset Scientific Services, and the HSE.

Accreditation, training and experience.
The laboratory is accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) for both the asbestos identification , fibre counting and on site sampling and is one of only a few laboratories in the South West of England to be accredited for carrying out this work on-site using a fully equipped mobile laboratory. We have been accredited by UKAS in this area of work for the last 20 years and have a wealth of experience within the current team.  The team are also UKAS accredited for carrying out asbestos surveys.

Air monitoring
Any asbestos removal within premises is strictly controlled by the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (CAR) 2006 and involves: Smoke and 4 stage clearance testing of enclosures. Background, reassurance and leak testing before during and/or after work involving asbestos. With the use of our fully equipped mobile laboratory, on-site air monitoring can be carried out anywhere within the south west of England with a short response time and results obtained on site. 

The new CAR have introduced a 4 stage clearance test to be used after asbestos removal has taken place. This will result in a certificate of re-occupation being issued once the site is deemed satisfactory for normal use to resume.

Asbestos training and awareness.
With the implementation of the new Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, asbestos awareness has become of prime importance to employers and workplace owners. The asbestos team offer both awareness seminars and on site training in the identification of asbestos materials.

Contacts

Contact: Somerset Scientific Services
Address: Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Email: somersetscientific@somerset.gov.uk
Contact no: 0845 345 9188
Fax: 01823 356119
Customer Contact opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm, Sunday closed.
Somerset Scientific Services opening hours: Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm, Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

Contact Asbestos Team
Address: Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Email somersetscientific@somerset.gov.uk 
Contact no 01823 355906 
Fax 01823 3556119 
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday closed.Sunday: Closed

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