Without Compromise: Successful Management of Asbestos Board in a Hospital

The Challenge
Urgent asbestos checks were required at an occupied hospital following damage to ceiling tiles made from suspected asbestos insulating board. The challenge was to manage the incident, make the area safe and to take samples without alarming the staff or members of the public.

The Project
The area was immediately sealed off to enable our team to take samples and undertake tests on air, dust and debris. MSS’ own UKAS-accredited lab, based in Cardiff, prioritised the analysis of the material to ensure rapid results. Microscopes were set up on site, to allow the fibre counting to proceed immediately, allowing an almost instant result.
Before performing any air monitoring or four stage clearance testing, the analyst will complete a thorough visual inspection, to determine the presence of visible dust or debris in the area. All work was undertaken with as little disturbance as possible. Our aim was to allow the hospital to function and be back to normal operating procedures as quickly as possible.

Good communication and professionalism was necessary to reduce panic amongst the staff and those affected by the incident.

Working in Partnership
MSS worked closely with clients from the outset of a project to formulate an effective and practical strategy for dealing with the emergency situation.
MSS have extensive experience of investigating and remediating sites that could potentially be contaminated with asbestos.


1 Power Station – 51 Air Monitoring Locations

The Challenge
MSS provided independent, non-biased air monitoring and dust monitoring at Aberthaw Power Station to establish occupational exposure limits for airborne asbestos. Air monitoring was undertaken in fifty one locations and personal samples were also taken. Fibre counts and gravimetric analysis of the filters for dust were undertaken on site to UKAS standards. Airborne asbestos is the most dangerous, the analysts are BOHS P403 and P404 minimum, qualified and work in accordance to HSG248 ‘The Analyst’s Guide for Sampling, Analyst’s and Clearance Procedures’ to ensure that the asbestos is dealt with responsibly.

Air Monitoring Services:
• Reassurance testing
• Enclosure leak testing
• Background fibre level testing
• Personal monitoring
• Discriminatory testing
• Emergency call out services
• 4-stage clearances
• Communication

Good communication was crucial for completing this system. With so many samples to be taken, it was essential that the analysts communicated progress and results as soon as possible.

Working in Partnership
MSS worked with the other environmental companies who were taking the bulk samples and carried out the asbestos removals works. This resulted in a successful and smooth process of finding out the occupational exposure limits for airborne asbestos.

To ensure the highest quality, monthly fibre quality checks are carried out and the participation of the Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchange scheme is partaken quarterly. The analysts carry out monthly re-checks on operational slides, including all clearance slides then 1 in 20 for all other slides.