Online Health and Safety Training goes live on Summit Environmental

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) marks its World Day for Safety and Health at Work on or around 28th April each year. World Day is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work around the globe.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created uncertain times and businesses are trying to deal with the situation in the best way they can. We wanted to let you know that we have implemented remote working solutions and online training all from the safety of your office or home.

Managing Health and Safety doesn’t have to be complicated, costly or time-consuming. In fact it’s easier than you think. If you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees. Its never been easier  with our range of RoSPAIATPCPDIIRSMIFELaserILM & ETA approved courses

 

Who are they for?

Some of your staff may have particular health and safety training needs, for example:

  • new recruits;
  • people changing jobs or taking on extra responsibilities;
  • young employees, who are particularly vulnerable to accidents;
  • health and safety representatives.

 

What course?

If you need training why not check out https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/online-training/  for a range of our courses including

Asbestos Awareness

Assessing Display Screen Equipment

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

CDM Awareness

Introduction to Risk Assessment

Slips, Trips and Falls

Working at Height

Fire Extinguisher

Basic Fire Safety Awareness

Basic Legionella Awareness

https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/online-training/#asb1

How can online training help you?

EPC

Why do we have EPC’s on our homes?

Did you know that in the U.K. between 25% and 30% of CO2 pollution comes from our homes, that is indeed a great deal of pollution, and when you review your domestic energy performance certificate, not only will it tell you the environmental changes you could make to your property, it also calculates the quantity of CO2, that you are puffing into the air and also how you could reduce the effect upon the environment by reducing the tonnage of CO2 that your property is emitting  and potentially saving you money too.

 

Virtually every day on the National News, and certainly International News there are stories of how Mother Earth is reacting to what we do to it. However just in case you do not have the news on:

Ice caps Retreating,

Artic Sea Ice Thinning,

Global Sea Levels Raising by 1-2mm per year,

Global Snow Cover Decrease By 10% in Fifty Years,

Weather Related Economic Losses Have Increased Ten Times in Forty Years,

The Huge Bush Fires That We Have Seen in Australia, And The USA,

In the U.K. Since 2000, We Have Had Some of The Warmest Summers Ever.

 

It is now even more critical to monitor what we are doing far more accurately and formulate plans so as to change what we have done for so long and to find a new normal. This new normal will be zero CO2 emissions, and with a target date of 2050.

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and goodbye 2020, what a year its been! We thought we would start with a brief review of our year.

Asbestos

We have been pleased to help so many clients with asbestos surveys, asbestos testing, asbestos remediation management across London and the South East including Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, as far as Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and even a couple of local works in Ashurst Wood. With the Pandemic a lot of new asbestos survey companies have started up driving prices and quality down. With our bespoke software and highly trained staff we refined our service offering and it has been a good solid year for Summit Environmental.

Fire and EWS1

EWS1 forms and external cladding works have been in the news all year. Summit Environmental has undertaken wall cladding services including combustibility testing, external cladding remediation and EWS1. The works have kept us busy throughout the year, we have a number of large cladding remediation projects pencilled in for next year.

Hazardous Materials

We have undertaken a number of Inventories of Hazardous Materials (IHM’s) on Vessels this year within the UK and involved in a number of exciting tenders, watch this space… other hazardous material surveys have included contaminated land projects, sulphate testing in concrete and  Isocyanate testing

EPC’s

This year we have completed commercial EPC’s alongside our asbetsos surveys for many of our clients. Next year we are increasing our service offering to residential EPC’s. More information coming in January 2021.

Online Training

With our clients speeding more time at home, we provided an online training module, which is now live on our website, offering online training from the comfort of your home or office, the training covers, basic fire training, asbestos awareness, asbestos awareness for architects, manual handling and noise and many more, check out our full list here https://summitenvironmental.co.uk/online-training/

Other Matters –

A year of Zoom – Not much else needs to be said other than who ever bought shares in zoom, will be having a Ho Ho Ho to themselves.

Christmas opening times – Asbestos and Hazardous materials unfortunately don’t disappear at Christmas, so see below our Christmas and New Year opening hours, however if you need us, call us.

  • Wednesday 23rd December, 9 am – 5pm

  • Thursday 24th December, 9 am – 1pm

  • Friday 25th December, Closed

  • Saturday 26th December, Closed

  • Sunday 27th December, Closed

  • Monday 28th December, Closed

  • Tuesday 29th December, 9 am – 5pm

  • Wednesday 30th December, 9 am – 5pm

  • Thursday 31st December, 9 am – 1pm

  • Friday 1st January, Closed 

  • Saturday 2nd January, 9 am – 5pm

  • Sunday 3rd January, Closed
  • Monday 4th January, 9 am – 5pm

Lastly – we would like to say thankyou for your continued support to us during 2020.  We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope that you are able to celebrate in some form, even with the latest Covid Restrictions. Wishing you a great Christmas and a healthy, prosperous new year in 2021.

Asbetsos testing

Are asbestos home testing kits reliable? – Q and A

In this guide we discuss everything you need to know about asbestos testing kits and evaluate just how effective, reliable, and safe they really are.

Asbestos is class 1 carcinogen and can cause significant health problems for anyone who is exposed to it. Exposure to asbestos is known to cause or be associated with lung cancer, mesothelioma (a cancer that is found in the lining of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart), and asbestosis. Care must be taken when sampling or managing buildings that contain asbestos.

Asbestos may be present in your home or place of work, asbestos testing is essential to manage the risks from asbestos. The materials in question should be tested to determine what, if any, asbestos is present.

It is possible to obtain asbestos testing kits easily, which enable untrained people to take samples of suspect materials, is this the best, proactive way to deal with a class 1 carcinogen?

How to use an Asbestos testing kit?

Most asbestos testing kits work in a two-step process. The kit provides you with the equipment to take samples of any suspected asbestos containing materials (ACMs). Small samples are taken of the suspect material and placed into sample bags. Samples are then posted to a testing laboratory where experts analyse the materials and identify whether they are positive or negative for asbestos content.

Asbestos testing kits – cost?

Asbestos home testing kits can range from as little as £25 to more than £80, although this will depend on how many samples have been allowed for and where its purchased from. It is worth noting that not all kits cover the laboratory fee and might be additional.

Who sells asbestos testing kits?

Anyone can sell an asbestos testing kit; therefore, check the kit you buy has what you need inside and is safe and practical for what you need it for. Normally kits are purchased from asbestos consultancies as these kits will be more robust. The sales technique of DIY test kits is looking for another way of capturing the market.

Asbestos testing kit – kit requirements.

The equipment included will vary from kit to kit. However, generally it includes:

  • Disposable coveralls (category 5/6)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face mask (FFP3 minimum)
  • Sample bags and packaging
  • Cleaning wipes

Asbestos home testing test kits have become popular in the UK and Internationally, but what are the pros and cons of using an asbestos test kit, and is there a difference between an asbestos home test kit vs. a professional asbestos consultant?

The advantages of home asbestos test kits?

  • Quick. (dependent on the postal service)
  • Relatively inexpensive. These kits often include the required kit (see above kit requirements)
  • PPE Provided. Each kit comes complete with personal protective equipment for safely taking samples, easy to follow instructions and return packaging
  • Lower Costs. In some cases, you will save money using an asbestos home test kit instead of paying the hourly rates for a specialised trained asbestos consultant.
  • Commercial and Residential Uses. The home testing kits can be used for commercial and domestic customers concerned about asbestos containing materials being present in their property

The negatives of home asbestos test kits?

  • Kit Quality. Masks supplied in DIY testing kits do not always offer the best protection against airborne asbestos-containing fibres. Once inhaled, asbestos can remain lodged in your body, leading to health issues, often even years later.
  • Asbestos Samples. Asbestos fibres are microscopic, and they are often mixed in a matrix of other materials making identification extremely difficult to those not technically trained.
  • Hazardous Materials. Some asbestos containing materials are not dangerous unless they are damaged or disturbed. Therefore, inexperienced sampling and testing can cause higher levels of disturbance. In fact, if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving the material alone.
  • Asbestos identification. Unless you have previous experience of testing for asbestos, it is not always easy to take samples effectively. The equipment provided in an asbestos home-testing kit can often be basic. Therefore, it can be difficult to ascertain whether what you have sent off for laboratory analysis truly represents the materials at your property.
  • Asbestos Exposure. By carrying out testing yourself, you could disturb and release asbestos fibres. So, you could expose both yourself and others living or working in the property or visiting it to the high risks of this substance if they become friable or airborne.
  • Making Safe. Once testing is done, the areas where samples have been taken must be sealed to reduce the risk of further asbestos disturbance. Are you confident you would be able to do this sealing effectively yourself?
  • Reliability. DIY testing kits are not normally as reliable nor as safe as hiring an asbestos consultant to take samples of ACMs.

Asbestos consultants

There are many reasons why only a qualified professional should be involved in a job as important as asbestos testing. If you decide to hire someone to perform a professional asbestos test instead of using a home testing kit, there are a few things to consider.

  • Number of asbestos materials. Many clients both in commercial and residential settings are not aware of the number of products in their homes, therefore more materials may be identified, and full surveys may be a better option.
  • Experience. Asbestos surveyors normally have years of experience, are fully qualified, insured and use specialist equipment to ensure the results are accurate.
  • Qualified. Experienced consultants know what to look for, what to send off, know how to test safely and protect themselves and others. Equally, they will know about fibre disturbance, how to handle ACMS’s and how to make safe a site sample point.
  • Cost Savings. Rather than taking samples of multiple materials, it may be more cost effective to complete an Asbestos Management Survey, Asbestos Refurbishment Survey or Asbestos Demolition Survey. This will then provide you with a survey report which will outline detailed information about the type of asbestos, its condition and location.

The question we get asked the most is?

Are home testing kits reliable?

A few factors can affect this.

  • Sample Type. Some samples such as textured coatings need more than one sample due to the non-homogenous nature of the materials.
  • Sample Size. If the sample is too small, it may not be a true representation of the material.
  • Experience. With no experience or using incorrect tools to take samples, it may not give a true representation of the materials being sampled.
  • Sampling Method. Some asbestos materials such as asbestos cement soffits can be difficult to sample or take an accurate size sample or if painted, i.e., have you sampled deep enough, will greatly effect the sample results.

 

In Conclusion

Asbestos testing kits are here to stay and can be useful. If you do decide to use a DIY asbestos testing kit, follow the instructions carefully to avoid potentially exposing yourself. Wear gloves, goggles, FFP3 Masks with appropriate filters to ensure you are protected.

Many people involved in property are not aware of the number of products in their homes that could potentially have some level of asbestos. Asbestos testing kits can be an essential tool for most homeowners. Unfortunately, it is not until a homeowner decides to undertake some renovations when the asbestos is found, if asbestos is in poor condition or damaged, it is time to call in the professionals.

If you need independent, quality, consultancy and advice or more information on asbestos and hazardous materials we would be happy to help.

Asbestos management and compliance in schools.

Is your school compliant with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012?

A large number of schools and other public buildings contain asbestos – often in the fabric of the building. Its presence alone should not cause concern, provided it is managed properly. Many schools, built before 2000, will contain asbestos, of the 29,000 schools in Britain, more than 75% contain asbestos. School buildings may contain asbestos if any part of them was built before 2000.

Nurseries, schools, colleges and universities are not obliged to tell you if their premises contain asbestos. Do you know about the buildings your children, friends and families attend contains asbestos?

Asbestos what is the risk?

Asbestos that is in good condition and unlikely to be damaged or disturbed is not a significant risk to health. The Department for Education referred nearly 700 schools in England to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as they did not provide evidence that they were managing asbestos in line with regulatory requirements.

The most likely way asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) will create a risk in schools is when they are disturbed or damaged through maintenance, repair or construction activities. Disturbance could also occur by an accidental football or a thrown bag if asbestos is not managed satisfactorily within high footfall areas.

 

What to look out for?

Asbestos-containing materials within schools (ACM’s) include:

  • Asbestos lagging, thermal insulation on pipes and boilers
  • Sprayed asbestos used for thermal insulation to ceilings and void spaces
  • Asbestos-insulating board (AIB) used for fire protection, thermal insulation, wall and ceiling tiles and partitioning in classrooms
  • Floor coverings such as lino’s and floor tiles
  • Cement materials used for sheeting, roofing and guttering
  • Textured coating and finishes to walls and ceilings
  • Woven materials to electrics

 

Who is at risk?

School caretakers are a particular group at risk due to the nature of their work, eg drilling and fixing. Other contractors may be at risk while undertaking maintenance or installation work, while at the school. If asbestos is disturbed during such work, there is a risk that fibres will be released and create risk to others in the school. This fibre release increases the risk of exposure to asbetsos of anyone using the school buildings such as staff and pupils.

This means that teachers and pupils are unlikely to be at risk in the course of their normal activities in a school where the asbestos has been identified and a safe management strategy is in place.

 

Who is responsible for asbestos management in schools?

Anyone who has responsibility for the maintenance and/or repair of non-domestic premises, including schools, is a ‘dutyholder’ as defined in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

For community schools, community special schools, voluntary-controlled schools, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units, this could be the local authority. For academies, free schools, voluntary-aided and foundation schools, it will be the school governors. For independent schools, it may be the proprietor, governors or trustees.

 

The dutyholder’s responsibilities?

The duty holder must assess and manage the risks from asbestos to employees and others that may be likely to disturb asbetsos. They must also ensure that anyone who is likely to work on, or disturb, asbestos is provided with information about its location and condition. This is enabled by;

  • The ‘management survey’ this will identify if any asbestos-containing materials are present within the school.
  • Assess the risks associated with ACM’s in your school. Assess the material type, condition, location and likelihood of fibre release.
  • Devise an Asbestos Management Plan (AMP’s). The asbestos management plan identifies the risks posed by the asbestos present in the property and sets out procedures to control them. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 states that “all duty holders with known or presumed asbestos within their premises must have an effective written asbestos management plan in place.
  • Make sure staff, visitors and contractors know the risks and precautions they need to take.
  • Keep the management of asbestos in your school under review. This will include a review of the management plan, re-inspection surveys, training for staff, remediation of high risk items.

 

What can you do and how can Summit Environmental help?

Summit Environmental can provide:

  • Independent assessments
  • Asbestos management and refurbishment surveys
  • Asbestos re-inspection surveys
  • Asbestos exposure investigations
  • Asbestos management plans
  • Asbestos remediation management
  • Consultancy and advice

 

If you have concerns regarding asbestos in schools or other premises where asbestos may be present, Contact us at [email protected] for more advice or information.

 

Recent articles include

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jul/04/700-english-schools-reported-over-asbestos-safety-concerns

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/03/asbestos-found-nearly-half-local-authority-run-primary-schools/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/asbestos-danger-5000-primary-schools-17325850

Compliance with The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR, 2012)

The Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR, 2012)

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 covers work with asbestos, and licensing of asbestos-removal activities. Regulation 4 contains an explicit duty on the owners and occupiers of non-domestic premises, who have maintenance and repair responsibilities, to assess and manage the risks from the presence of asbestos.

The ‘duty to manage asbestos’ requirements of regulation 4 of CAR 2012 do not normally apply to domestic premises. However, the requirements do apply to common parts of premises, including housing developments and blocks of flats. Examples of common parts would include foyers, corridors, and lifts and lift shafts, staircases, boiler houses, vertical risers, gardens, yards and outhouses.

What is the Duty?

The duty requires you to manage the risk from asbestos by:
 Finding out if there is asbestos in the premises (or assessing if ACMs are liable to be present and making a presumption that materials contain asbestos, unless you have strong evidence that they do not), its location and what condition it is in;
 Making and keeping an up-to-date record of the location and condition of the ACMs or presumed ACMs in your premises;
 Assessing the risk from the material;
 Preparing a plan that sets out in detail how you are going to manage the risk from this material;
 Taking the steps needed to put your plan into action;
 Reviewing and monitoring your plan and the arrangements made to put it in place; and
 Setting up a system for providing information on the location and condition of the material to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb it.

How do dutyholder’s comply?

There are four essential steps:
 Find out whether the premises contain asbestos, and, if so, where it is and what condition it is in. If in doubt, materials must be presumed to contain asbestos
 Assess the risk from asbestos present in the premises
 Make a plan to manage that risk and act on it
 Provide this information to other employers (eg building contractors) who are likely to disturb any asbestos present, so that they can put in place appropriate control while the work is being done.

Summit Environmental….your partner in asbestos compliance!

We can guide you through your asbestos management process and help you comply with your legal obligations.
 Asbestos surveys – identify asbestos in your premises by way of completing surveys; management, refurbishment or demolition.
 Asbestos management plans – develop and implement and effective plan to ensure you are managing your asbestos effectively.
 Asbestos re-inspections – following identification of asbestos materials, we complete annual re-inspections and monitor and report on the asbestos previously identified.
 Training – asbestos awareness, management training and CPD sessions
 Asbestos remediation scoping, tendering and remediation management – Once identified, we will advise you on the best way to deal with asbestos in the most efficient, safe and cost-effective way.

Welcome to our new website

Hello and welcome to our new website.

Take a look at our services we offer, you may be surprised to find we offer more than you expect. We cover residential, commercial and industrial buildings within the built, marine and construction industries.

Summit Environmental provides bespoke hazardous material identification, inclusive of sampling and analysis, consultancy and remedial solutions as required.

Contact Summit Environmental for more information.