We've rebooted our Facebook Group. If groups are your thing, join up and let's make it as amazing and friendly as our forums!

I'm a link to HSfB's Facebook Group. Click me, go, go, go! Image

Asbestos advice needed

Discuss all things health and safety.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Jnr Member
Jnr Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:29 pm
Occupation: Health & Safety
Location: UK
Been thanked: 1 time

Asbestos advice needed

Post by kngc » Fri May 17, 2019 11:24 am

Long post alert:

We have a live 24/7 residential property with asbestos debris within the roof void. The plan was to remove the debris but there is a projected cost of around £500k (the building is likely to be replaced within 8 or so years).

The suggestion has been to seal the area off and move the services from there to reduce the need for access in the future. This will mean surface mounted services (adding fire loading to corridors etcetera) and diverting water tanks. Lighting units are also failing which lead to the roof void, meaning that replacement may require sealing them off and installing surface mounted units (leaving electrics within the void) and to make life a little harder the debris is as a result of crumbling fire breaks!

As you can see, this is a complicated situation, so here are the questions: (I will keep my opinion out of this for now)
1.) Seal it and remove as much access requirement as possible, ensuring future access is secured through face-fit and supported by a licensed contractor.
2.) Remove the debris and manage the fire breaks.
3.) Involve HSE in reviewing the options.
4.) Run for the hills (clearly not a genuine suggestion, although some are considering it ;) )

Clearly there is a duty to manage and that is exactly what we aim to do but as you can see, there is no easy fix.

TIA for any advice given
Legislation should not drive Health & Safety, we should!

BESafety Support

User avatar
Anorak Extraordinaire
Anorak Extraordinaire
Posts: 8409
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:50 am
Twitter: @bernicarey
Industry Sector: Consultancy/Training
Occupation: Safety, Health, Environment and Fire Consultant.
Location: The heart of the East Midlands...
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 67 times

Re: Asbestos advice needed

Post by bernicarey » Fri May 17, 2019 12:43 pm

Briefly, it depends on the finer detail.
Some of that sounds almost as expensive as what you have said the removal costs are estimated at, and they wouldn't solve the actual problem, whilst causing you new ones.
What sort of Debris is it, loose insulation or dust from old sheeting?
Could it be coated in some way, such as spraying it in a sealant, e.g. 'Closed cell spray foam' insulation? Which might still allow access?

Ultimately, I think it all needs costings to make a decision. If the building is being demolished in 8+ years what's the additional cost going to be then?

Tomorrow - your reward for being safe today...


User avatar
Snr Member
Snr Member
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:01 pm
Twitter: @adb82
Industry Sector: Warehousing
Occupation: QHSE Co-Ordinator
Location: South Queensferry
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Asbestos advice needed

Post by abarnett » Sun May 19, 2019 10:39 am

Like berni, I'd be looking at the overall costs involved in moving the services as the first step.
Add that to the cost that you'd be adding to your demolition costs for removing the asbestos at that point and, like berni, I suspect you aren't going to be a million miles away from the cost of removal at this point.
I'd also suspect that simply removing would reduce the impact of overall works (as it would be "one and done" rather than a series of mini bits of work)
Further more you're eliminating that risk from your building for the rest of its operational life which, as you've indicated, is the best part of a decade...

Safety doesn't happen by accident

Post Reply


Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Find us on on LinkedIn

Terms of Use Privacy Policy