Wednesday, 12 November 2014

(non) Inflammable Material

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy

It was a wonder material, Asbestos, fireproof, great for buildings, a bit like how well Mercury worked for hats or lead for piping. Alice in Wonderland had a mad hatter and it was only years later that mercury’s link with health was realised. Asbestos is no laughing matter however, it’s obviously a serious problem if disturbed and inhaled.

Most landlords unless they have extremely recent stock, will have some asbestos, often it can only be assumed unless tested. I have been doing some work around managing asbestos, with a few housing clients. These are at various stages in how they manage asbestos and ensure duty of care to staff, tenants and contractors.

Asbestos must always be linked directly to your main housing management system assets/properties. Keeping in an external spreadsheet, turns it into an island that cannot be easily linked in reports and other processes. Such as when you raise a repair. Rather than a job ticket/email going to a contractor stating “Proceed with caution”, communicate what you know. I.E. Expose details of where it is found in the property and what type. Adding a link to a spreadsheet, even if its on the web is less than robust, as a lot of contractors won’t have time or inclination to check. If they accidently drill into an asbestos tile and fill the room with white dust, it will most likely be the HA not the Contractor liable if all reasonable steps to notify have not been taken.

Most HMS now include a Contractor Portal option, so jobs can be issued directly, with asbestos warnings included. Have your asbestos surveyors use it too, so works such as plastering etc awaiting surveys can be progressed faster.

Reception and consumption of the asbestos testing reports can be improved too. If your organisation has an EDM system, ask your asbestos testing to supply reports with the asset reference embedded in its title (i.e. 6751_20141016_21 High St,Cockermouth_Asbestos Report.PDF). Here, delimited by an underscore, an EDM solution could file these automatically for you. Also, ask for a CSV version of the report samples, so this could be quickly imported into your assets module or 3rd party assets solution.

If you think your organisation could use some help with your asbestos process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Related Post: How dangerous is doing things as you always have?

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You can link with me on LinkedIn here - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy It would be great to connect !

Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect DeviceStiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009

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