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Day in the life – Independent Analyst
Day in the life – Independent Analyst
Day in the life – Independent Analyst We all know that asbestos can be dangerous if not dealt with correctly, but what is it like to work with it day in, day out? We caught up with Grant Litton-Hayes, one of our qualified asbestos analysts, to find out what he loves about the job, and how he works to keep himself and others safe. How does your day start? My day starts to the sound of my alarms at about 5:30-6:00am. My first stop is the kitchen for my morning coffee. This gets me through the morning traffic, which is inevitably on the cards. While I enjoy my coffee, I’ll load up the sat nav and investigate the best routes. I get everything ready the night before, so I just have to sling my bag on my back and head to the van, being careful not to wake my other half. Arriving on site The good thing about having a small van is that parking is usually pretty easy. Once on site, there might be a site induction, to go through safety procedures. I will also fill in my own Risk Assessment for the site on my portable tablet. Once I’ve been shown the scope of works, I’m, ready to get started. I really like the fact that I get to see different people each day. Sometimes it’s a familiar face and sometimes it’s someone new. New faces mean new stories to hear, which I love. First site visit of the day Most days, I’ll have two jobs. They could be at a vacant domestic property or a fully developed commercial construction site. As a qualified independent analyst, I’ll be presented with an enclosure that is ready for 4 stage clearance. This is a relevant certification to be issued upon job completion and allows a site to be reoccupied for further works to proceed. Once I check that it’s safe, I enter a decontamination unit (DCU) to get suited and booted, in full protective mask and overalls. Next, I have to visually inspect the area, which in my opinion is one of the most important parts of the job. We have to ensure the removal contractor has done the best job they can to ensure all asbestos is removed and the area is left clean enough to eat your dinner off (not literally). The aim of the game, is to try and find asbestos that may have been missed. It’s rare, but it does happen, which is why we’re here. Upon completion of the visual inspection, I’ll conduct air monitoring and then exit the enclosure into the DCU for a well-earned hot shower. If the air monitoring proves satisfactory, then the enclosure will carefully be removed, leaving a nice photo finish for our clients. Lunchtime When the first job finishes, I’ll take a break and have something to eat. I’m pretty good and prepare lunch ahead of time to bring with me. Then I’ll set off and travel to the next site. Always be prepared What I love about the job is that every day is different. You have to adapt to your surroundings and what has been discovered on site. I work independently, but I know I have a team on hand who I can call if I need advice or support. Driving home I’m usually driving home from London, which means the roads are busy, whichever route you take. It can get frustrating, but the best thing to do is just sit back and go with the flow! I usually get home around by 6pm, just in time for my other half’s amazing dinners. We like to relax over dinner and share stories from the day. My spare time I like to keep busy with gaming on my computers and working on my car. Although I like driving, I try to avoid doing too much of it in the evenings. After travelling around 300 miles in a day, spending more time behind the wheel isn’t a good idea.
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Closed-loop heating system testing
Closed-loop heating system testing
Our engineers can now offer a testing service for the closed-loop heating systems within your building. Regular testing and treatment of the water is important to avoid problems such as corrosion, scale, bacteria and biofilm. Whether it’s a school or a large commercial building, our tests adhere to both BSRIA BG29 (commissioning) and BSRIA BG50 (ongoing monitoring) guidance. Because the same water continually circulates in the heating system, without the correct testing and chemical treatments, equipment breakdowns are more likely. A breakdown could not only be costly, but it may mean you have to temporarily close your business until it’s fixed. This new testing service will give you piece of mind for your business-critical equipment.
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Using X-Rays to detect lead paint
Using X-Rays to detect lead paint
Many older buildings; such as schools, factories and town halls, had the corridors, rooms and stairwells painted with lead paint in the past. But, if these walls have been repeatedly painted over, how would you know if lead paint existed? Lead paint isn’t immediately dangerous if it’s covered. However, it can pose a risk to inhabitants or workers if the covering paint begins to peel or if there is a wholesale disturbance of the area. We visit many buildings, of various ages, to survey the existence of lead paint. And our X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) instrument has helped us to identify where lead paint has been used in the past. These XRF surveys often detect a big difference in lead levels between high and low wall readings in older buildings. This is probably because there was a dado rail with two different wall colours, or even just a two tone paint scheme, which was previously popular. <strong>How does it work?</strong> The XRF instrument can penetrate through layers of paint to the substrate, without disturbing the paintwork. Nothing needs to be sent to a laboratory, because the XRF gives us an immediate reading. You wouldn’t be able to detect the lead levels with a visual inspection, so this method of working really is a safe way to provide this information. Having the information from the survey ensures the old paint is treated safely during any refurbishment or renovation works. It also highlights which areas need monitoring for wear and tear.
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COVID-19
COVID-19
We are open for business. COVID19 has put huge pressure on our industry with the challenges it has brought and it has affected both our clients and our supply chain. At the beginning of lockdown Environtec Limited asked staff to work at home where possible and this way of working in still in place, this has allowed us to remain operational throughout the pandemic and to continue to provide services and support to our clients.  As lockdown has eased we have introduced a number of measures across our network of offices and laboratories to allow them to safely become operational again.  We continue to ask staff to work at home where possible but having identified the need for some staff to access the office we have conducted detailed risk assessments at each location to ensure they can operate safely within the Government guidelines to make sure we are doing everything to limit the risk of transmission of the virus.  Some of the safety steps we have taken are: There are hand sanitisers for every entry and exit door Antibacterial wipes available for every workstation Enhanced cleaning throughout the buildings Social distancing reminders and signage Signage indicating desks that are out of use Maximum occupancy guidance for smaller rooms within the offices Meetings where possible to be carried out using 3CX, Zoom or Teams in the first instance. We continue to regularly review and amend these procedures to ensure compliance with the Government guidance.
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Legionella
Legionella
Another good Quarter for Environtec’s Legionella team has resulted in the division doubling in size due to client demands. #TEAM #Multidisciplinary #Future #Compliance
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CDM Regulations
CDM Regulations
Under CDM regulations, the Health & Safety File created and maintained by the Principal Designer should contain an assessment of hazardous materials used – including lead paints and special coatings. This information should be made available to contractors to determine how to safely remove and dispose of such materials#cdm #leadpaint #principaldesigner #leadsurvey
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Project Management
Project Management
A continued high standard of Project Management/Surveying has allowed Environtec to gain further work streams into prestigious buildings across the UK. This has only been possible due to the level of expertise out CCP/CoCa qualified consultants can provide clients. #Environtec #Asbestos #Team #Consultants
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