Timeframe: 5 months
In March 2020, we were approached by the NHS Trust to provide asbestos surveying, consultancy and analytical services for their Aintree Hospital maternity block basement plantroom and service ducts system. The Trust needed to remove the old redundant steam heating system and associated plant. Due to the physical disruption this would cause, the Trust required asbestos surveying, remediation and testing services.
Having worked with the NHS on various projects since 2013, we were confident that we would deliver an exceptional service – which meant the hospital unit could safely return to ‘business as usual’ with minimum disruption.
In this case study, we discuss what this project entailed. Learn about the challenges we overcame and the successes we achieved…
Aintree University Hospital is part of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a newly merged Trust comprising Aintree and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals. Due to substantial parts of the building being built before 2000, asbestos is present – and therefore the Trust must ensure that all asbestos risk is remediated.
On this occasion, the Trust needed to assess the risk of asbestos in the maternity block basement plant room and duct – and remedy it – so they could reoccupy the location as soon as possible.
Carry out a survey
Firstly, the brief was to complete an asbestos survey of the maternity building basement main plant room and service duct system. As an existing supplier to the NHS, we were engaged to carry out an asbestos survey and establish what issues were present.
Draw up a specification
After completing the survey, the Trust then engaged us to draw up a specification for the asbestos remediation works that were recommended in the survey report. This involved us jointly creating an exact action plan for how the asbestos would be removed and resolved.
From this, the remediation work could go to tender.
Oversee contractor submissions
When all tenders were in, we reviewed each submission from a quality/cost related basis where many factors were at play. Taking a look at the proposed method statements, we reviewed the submissions from a technical perspective to asses if the scope desired by the Trust would be met. From this review, we made a recommendation to the Trust which contractor to proceed with.
Above all, the Trust relied on us to get this right – so it was a vital step in our consultancy service.
Once a contractor had been assigned and the project commencement date agreed, the remedial work could take place. Our job on site was to ensure that everything in the project was completed in line with the ASB5 and method statement – giving appropriate compliance advice as the project progressed.
During the project, we were engaged to undertake full-time air monitoring which involved witness of the smoke test prior to the works area going ‘live’, leak and reassurance air monitoring during removal work to ensure that the control measures within the works area were adequate and operative personal monitoring to confirm exposure.
The challenges & our solutions
When consulting on and project managing a large asbestos remediation project, we expect several challenges along the way.
Here are some of the challenges we faced:
With the survey being carried out at the end of March and into early April, we coincided with the nationwide lockdown. Although our work was essential to continue, there were naturally more hurdles because of this. Working within a hospital environment further exasperated this, however, we are well-versed in PPE, and we were pleased to navigate this situation well.
After the contractors confirmed that they had completed the remediation work we were responsible for the issuing of the re-occupation certificate. This is done via our own laboratory – which is a suitable impartial and independent UKAS accredited testing laboratory.
With the area now being fully safe to reoccupy, we are proud to complete this project for the NHS. Despite the project’s complexities, we were able to apply our specialist knowledge from start to finish for smooth project management. This ensured the complete removal and disposal works of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in a hospital setting – with all proper compliances being achieved at the end of the project.
As a heavily legislated process, asbestos projects can be intimidating to navigate. However, onboarding asbestos consultants and project managers can ensure the work is handled smoothly – and safely.
Westland Environmental Safety works as a trusted supplier of the NHS. This is testament to our expertise in this area – having been relied upon to solve, remediate and certify various hospital locations. Not only do we ensure all asbestos removal is strictly conducted in accordance with CAR 2012 and supporting HSE guidance documents, but we ensure that the work is done within our clients’ timescales and other demands.