October 12 2012

Small Boiler (Big Job!)

MAS Ltd recently carried out an asbestos removal project in Bolsover and although the boiler was quite small we thought we could describe the job as it was not so straight forward as it looked!

As with all licensed projects, we were required to collate sufficient information when carrying out our site visit to write a method statement and risk assessment. This is done to enable us to submit an ASB5 notification to the Health & Safety Executive 14 days prior to the works commencing as required under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The project was at Bolsover Post Office which is in a pedestrianised area and as the project was licensed we were required to have a decontamination unit (DCU) sited as close to the job as practically possible. In this case the asbestos that required removing was through the Post Office and down some stairs, so the pedestrianised area in the street was the closest we could get the DCU. We had to apply to the local Town Council for permission to park it and were instructed to leave ample space for emergency vehicular access.

The removal work was carried out over a weekend to minimise disruption as the Post Office had to be closed. The DCU and external transit route were secured with heras fencing so as to not allow the general public to infringe into the work area.

Before any works were carried out we were required to carry out a pre-clean of the basement boiler room to create a clean surface to seal the enclosure. The Site Supervisor and all Operatives wear disposable overalls and half face masks for this exercise. In this case, it also allowed for the setting up of the negative pressure unit (NPU) which pulls clean air through the enclosure to ensure no asbestos fibres are released into the atmosphere.

Smoke tests are carried out to ensure that the enclosures are air tight and then the Site Supervisor and Operative/s will enter the DCU to change into their disposable overalls and full face masks and can then begin the removal of the asbestos insulation from the basement boiler.

Using a wet strip machine, needles will be inserted into the asbestos insulation which will damp the asbestos enough to minimise the fibre release and reduce exposure. The Supervisor ensures that the material is sufficiently saturated before the removal begins. Following the safe removal of the asbestos from the boiler, the basement will then be fully decontaminated and a UKAS accredited laboratory will be employed to attend site for a 4-stage clearance certificate (also known as a certificate of re-occupation) which includes a visual inspection of the entire area and an air test where samples are taken to ensure there are less than 0.01 fibres/ml.

Following a successful visual and air test the area is then deemed safe for re-occupation and is handed back over to the client.

Mr Miller, the Post Master, added ‘the project went as planned, I was pleased with the fact there was no mess and your site supervisor Shaun advised me daily of the progression of the project and what time they would be arriving and leaving site and they always on time’.

Another satisfied customer for Midlands Asbestos Solutions Ltd.