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Licensed vs non-licensed asbestos removal: what is the difference?


Licensed vs non-licensed asbestos removal: what is the difference?

Before conducting any repairs or refurbishment work that may disturb asbestos, property owners must have a suitable survey carried out to determine whether the work activity would pose a hazard to workers and building occupants.

Asbestos removal work is labelled as licensed or non-licensed depending on the level of risk.

What is licensed asbestos removal?

Licensed asbestos removal is work that needs to be conducted by an HSE-licensed contractor because the risk involved is deemed to be high. Workers who are qualified to remove high-risk asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) have undergone intensive training and follow stringent working practices. They will also have specialised PPE equipment and are legally required to be under regular medical surveillance.

Examples of licensable work include the removal of asbestos insulating board (AIB), pipe lagging and loose-fill insulation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) needs to be made aware of any licensed asbestos removal projects.

Close-up of asbestos pipe insulation

What is non-licensed asbestos removal?

Non-licensed asbestos removal means that the contractors do not need to be HSE-licensed to carry out the work as it is classified as lower risk.

Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations, work with ACMs without a licence must meet specific conditions and exposure must not exceed the legal control limit. It is also important that the asbestos fibres within the materials in question are well-contained or covered by another material, and workers should not be deliberately trying to disturb or break up the ACMs.

Examples of non-licensed work with asbestos includes the removal of floor tiles, textured decorative coatings (providing that this can be done without the deterioration of the textured coatings) and the removal of asbestos cement sheeting.

In some cases, the local council may need to be informed. This is referred to as notifiable non-licensed asbestos removal. This would be the case if the removal area was large or if the project involved working with asbestos cement that was in poor condition.

Image of asbestos roof tiles against blue sky

What type of asbestos removal do I require?

It is important to adhere to licensing regulations. Fines and even imprisonment can apply to duty holders for failure to follow the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

During the asbestos survey, the assessor will examine the friability, ACM type and level of exposure to workers to accurately identify the classification and type of asbestos removal that the project will require.

The friability of asbestos refers to its ability to be crushed or broken down into smaller pieces. The more friable the asbestos is, the more dangerous it is to health and the more likely your project is to require licensed asbestos removal. Many types of thermal insulation will require licensed asbestos removal. Certain ACMs such as vinyl floor tiles and cement will be non-licensed if the materials are in good condition.

Ultimately, a thorough asbestos survey assessment will be able to determine the nature of the asbestos within your building and the assessor will be able to make recommendations for appropriate removal.

If the outcome of the survey deems either licensed or non-licensed asbestos removal to be necessary, Henderson Environmental can help.

Whatever the risk level, we offer a comprehensive range of specialist asbestos removal and management services in line with national health and safety standards and regulations.

Get in touch for further information.

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"Outstanding Service"

From the enquiry to the completion of the work, the service is outstanding. All members of staff who attended the site are professional, very polite, did their work and when I asked to do any extra work, it was not a problem, they just did it.

Lena Jopling, Hutchinson Environmental Solutions, Northumberland

"Friendly and Polite"

Hendersons stripped the asbestos ceiling panels from our garage and removed the panels from site. I was very happy with the professional and efficient way in which the work was carried out. The team were very friendly and polite and they left the garage and surrounding area clean and tidy. The work area was tested by an independent company and found to be clean and free of asbestos fibres.

John Knowles, County Durham

"Completed on Time"

All the work was completed on time and to our expectations The staff were very pleasant and checked regularly that we were happy with the progress.

Tony Turnbull, Tynemouth

"Professional Approach "

We were delighted by the professional approach and customer service that Henderson provided. From the onset, they demonstrated a highly structured and well-planned approach. This was also seen in how they approached the work on-site, as staff were professional, and friendly but also very concerned to do the right job. An excellent service at a reasonable price.

Peter Upton, Hexham

"Expert Knowledge"

I received excellent service from everyone at Henderson as all team members are friendly, helpful, and professional. I would recommend Henderson Environmental to anyone with an asbestos issue and on the strength of the great job that they did, if I ever need soundproofing I would go straight to them.

G Parker, Newcastle Upon Tyne

"Clean and Efficient Job"

Ian and his team provided us with an excellent service at a competitive price compared to others. The team were fantastic, arriving on time and working continuously to get the job done. Once completed they showed me the area they had cleared and it had been done to a very high standard, all materials were taken away and the area was thoroughly cleaned. I would highly recommend to all.

Sam Benfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne

"Stress-Free Removal "

When I was first told I had asbestos I was concerned mostly about what it meant to remove it and how destructive the process would be. I needn’t have worried as the team were in and out really quickly, working professionally, and that took all of the stress out of the situation. Thanks for a fantastic job guys!

Adrian Young, Whitley Bay

"Limited Disturbance"

We owe a huge thanks to Ian and the team for making the asbestos removal go so easily and to plan. The impact to tenants has been as minimal as possible and the asbestos skip was removed immediately. The job couldn’t have gone better and we look forward to working with you again in the future.

Neil Joslin, The Gateshead Housing Company

"Efficient and On-Time"

I needed a job done quickly and the team came out to give me a quote the following day ad provided the estimate a day later. The work was completed within the estimated time frame and given that it involved removing a ceiling and taking the wall back to brick, we expected a mess but all of the waste was removed and not even a spec of dust was left behind. It’s rare these days to find a company that surpasses expectations and these guys do just that.

Christina Porter, Whickham, Newcastle Upon Tyne

"Safe and Collaborative Team"

The Henderson team were very easy to talk to and it was simple to schedule the removal to suit our calendar. The team on-site worked with our roofers to make sure the building was watertight by the end of the day. All in all Ian and the company were great to work with.

Hamilton Building and Joinery Services

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