Asbestos and Legionella

Asbestos-related diseases are the largest cause of occupational-related deaths in the UK, claiming more than 3500 people each year. Alongside legionnaires’ disease, the control of asbestos in the built environment and on brownfield sites presents a significant compliance challenge to employers across the UK. Asbestos was widely used as a building material in the UK in the years leading up to its final prohibition in 1999, and significant legacy issues remain across the country.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria. While the risk from exposure to legionella is relatively low in the general population, significant groups are at much higher risk. Droplet mists and biofilms associated with hot tubs, air-conditioning units, showers and other water systems are generated widely in the built environment and, given the widespread nature of legionella in the environment, the inhalation of aerosolised water from these systems can lead to the development of legionnaires’ disease, which can be fatal. Control of this exposure is therefore of critical importance to owners of potentially affected facilities.

Exposure to airborne asbestos fibre has potentially serious and long-term health implications, including pleural plaques, asbestosis, lung cancers and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the abdominal cavity that may develop between 15 and 40 years after exposure and has an average post-diagnosis life expectancy of six months.

The work in, and occupation of, the build environment and redevelopment of brownfield sites poses an immediate risk in terms of exposure to asbestos. RSK’s solutions for total asbestos management involves identifying asbestos materials, providing advice and managing asbestos removal work. Our expert team of specialist asbestos consultants at RSK Asbestos can collaborate with clients to ensure that all legal requirements are met alongside high standards of health and safety.

Expert teams offering invaluable services

RSK is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 for quality, environmental, and health and safety management. We are United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited for asbestos inspection and testing activities, including operation of our laboratories, and members of the Legionella Control Association for legionella risk assessment, inspection, remediation and laboratory activities.

Combining our diverse services

RSK offers comprehensive asbestos and legionella surveying, management and remediation services. Our team of expert surveyors and consultants all come from scientific or engineering backgrounds. We have excellent project experience across all industry sectors. RSK’s consultants will work in partnership with you and recommend best practices and ensure compliance with the latest regulatory standards.

Understanding complex challenges

Our clients are often seeking to obtain regulatory compliance and manage and mitigate risk. Managing risks early and effectively is vital in ensuring the smooth running of any redevelopment project to secure the safe demolition of structures and excavation of groundworks. Owing to our health and safety certifications, we can train and instruct workers on how to protect themselves and correctly dispose of waste. Asbestos discovered during a project could significantly delay progress, and uncontrolled disturbance of asbestos-containing materials can lead to the exposure of employees, contractors and the general public, and generate significant quantities of waste contaminated with asbestos material. Our innovative and problem-solving approach to consultancy will help you overcome obstacles.

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Our Expertise

  • Asbestos services

    • Management, refurbishment and demolition surveys
    • Sampling and analysis of materials suspected of containing asbestos
    • Air monitoring and clearance testing, including air sampling, site perimeter monitoring, fibre counting and four-stage clearance testing
    • Asbestos management, including digital asbestos management solutions, policy and procedure creation, asbestos management plans, condition monitoring, and training to ensure clients are compliant with their requirements under the Control of Asbestos Regulations
    • Asbestos register and risk management software designed to enable storage and retrieval of data and active management facilities such as calendars for condition monitoring inspections and a status list of recommendations
    • Full project management of asbestos removal spanning tender preparing and reviewing, interviewing contractors, site inspection and monitoring works, and post-works completion reports
    • A range of UKATA-approved asbestos awareness and non-licensed training and asbestos management courses, which can be tailored to clients’ requirements
    • Expert witness reports for consideration by courts and tribunals regarding litigation or arbitration
    • Due diligence, legal compliance and system compliance audits identifying areas of strength and weakness and providing clear recommendations for the actions required

  • Water-hygiene services

    • Risk assessments to current guidance and standards
    • Routine water monitoring and asset inspections for controlling legionella including provision of a database for asset and data management
    • Sampling of water systems for legionella and microbiological analysis with recommendations based on results
    • Review of log books, personnel and current practice to establish compliance with ACoP L8, HSE Guidance HSG274 and other relevant documents
    • Remedial services including cleaning and disinfections of water systems

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