Hospital asbestos a ‘ticking time bomb’

BBC London has found that 94% of hospitals in the capital contain asbestos.  A report released in July this year claimed that about 1,000 people have died from mesothelioma since 2011 in London and this figure includes doctors and nurses.

While historically much of the asbestos used in hospitals is white asbestos, commonly considered not to pose a risk to health if left undisturbed, there is always the danger that it may be disturbed in the future.  Additionally, the number of deaths from the disease since 2011 would indicate that ‘safe asbestos’ is a misnomer.

Global Environmental has experience of providing managing asbestos removal  in healthcare establishments – most recently for Barts Health NHS Trust where we delivered a major survey programme, training and project management of the remediation phase.

The experience taught us the specific skills required for working in a healthcare environment which include:

  • The value of developing and maintaining good communications with the Estates Team, staff and visitors
  • Planning the sequence of works around the activities taking place in the hospital
  • Segregation and sequencing of works (typically involving out-of-hours working) enabling the hospital to remain fully live throughout.

In the case of Barts and with other London hospitals, some of the buildings have listed status which requires that they be approached with great care, enabling expert reinstatement to the same standard after the survey.  We work with the appropriate experts to establish a sympathetic method of works to achieve this.

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