Asbestos Sample TestingProviding specialised sampling services that will give you peace of mind
In the event of material on a site for which you are responsible being suspected of containing asbestos, it will be necessary to take a representative sample and send it off for analysis.
In line with The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 regulations, all analysis of samples for suspected asbestos containing materials is required to be undertaken by a competent person or company accredited in compliance with the standard outlined in ISO 17025.
What does the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) say about asbestos sample testing?
The HSE’s advice is that an asbestos licence is not required to take a sample, and you can take a sample yourself if the material has already broken off and there is no risk of you spreading debris or coming into contact with the dust.
However, the regulator also sets out certain guidance for responsibly taking a sample, including being careful about where you walk, dampening the sample and placing it in a self-sealing polythene bag. This bag, in turn, should be placed in a second self-sealing bag, which can then be labelled.
Finally, it will be necessary for anyone undertaking asbestos sampling in this way to arrange for it to be analysed by a UKAS-accredited laboratory.
Alternatively, if you are not confident about your ability to take the sample itself – and you should certainly take no unnecessary risks – we would urge you to contact Oracle Solutions who will be able to carry out the asbestos sampling for you.
How does Oracle Solutions approach asbestos sample testing?
You can request asbestos sample testing – or ‘bulk sampling’, as we refer to it – as a standalone exercise, or as part of a wider survey.
The asbestos test that Oracle carries out as a standalone exercise is called ‘specific sampling’, and involves the client instructing us as to which materials, and in which part of the building, they require to have sampled.
If we provide asbestos testing as part of a survey, however, we will seek to locate – as far as is reasonably practical – all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) within a building or part of a building, subject to the scope of works.
In the event that while undertaking a survey, the surveyor deems there may be a risk of a material containing asbestos, hand tools will be used to take a small (circa 50p size) sample of the material.
This will then be sealed in a double sealable sandwich-type bag and sent off to a specialist UKAS-accredited laboratory, where the material will be tested to confirm whether asbestos is present – as well as, if so, what specific type of asbestos the material is.
In addition, we collect samples during a survey to confirm that a given material or product is a non-asbestos material. This is referred to as ‘negative sampling’ and is utilised to show that a material that may have visual similarities, or that is potentially known to contain asbestos, has been tested.
While we would always recommend that Oracle attends your site to collect samples, we do have clients who prefer to either send us samples in the post or drop samples into the office.
What else is included in this service?
Clients for whom we are conducting a survey will receive a fully compliant asbestos survey report for the given building. Meanwhile, if we are only undertaking specific sampling or the customer has provided a sample, we will issue a detailed ‘Certificate of Analysis’.
How long will it take to get the results back?
For the standard asbestos testing service requires a wait of 48-to-72-hours. However, we do also offer a ‘fast track’ service that guarantees a next-day result, provided that the sample is posted the day before.
Oracle also offer a premium service where it is possible to get results in a few hours. This is a particularly useful option in emergency situations.