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Asbestos firm goes high tech

MATERIALS Cutting Edge

ASBESTOS removal contractors have always been at the cutting edge of health and safety. One small slip up could mean years of fighting the killer disease asbestosis in later life.

This is one of the reasons why work in the sector is so closely regulated and workers take such a high level of interest in on-site health and safety.

And with new asbestos management regulations forcing property managers and developers to keep tabs on the levels and condition of asbestos in their buildings, contractors need to develop methods of checking on the condition without increasing exposure.

Specialist Silverdell has an innovative method of updating asbestos registers for building owners to help keep workers safe. It uses remote audio/ visual technology to track the condition of asbestos and asbestos-containing material before, during and after removal work has been carried out.

Normally problematic areas are dealt with by enclosing them and installing viewing panels to keep them under observation.Now the use of video links can reduce the potential spread of fibres through workers entering a contaminated area, and are useful on challenging sites, according to the firm's managing director Danny Spicer.

He claimed the use of audio/visual technology to complement traditional methods could help maintain quality-assurance procedures.He said: 'The use of supporting visual technologies is new to UK industry and is designed to assist clients and partner contractors.'