Let’s get one thing straight. Asbestos is a deadly material that can cause fatal complications both in humans and in animals. It has been banned in several countries including Australia, New Zealand, and many others. With that being said, hiring an asbestos inspection company should merit just as serious an attention as asbestos does. We have to make sure that we engage with the right asbestos inspection companies or run the risk of putting ourselves and others in harm’s way. How do we tell whether or not a company is legitimate, qualified, licensed, and truly professional when there are so many out there who are just out for our hard-earned money?
The experts from Greenlight Services give us an industry expert’s perspective on differentiating the wheat from the chaff. Here are some of the things to watch out for when hiring an asbestos inspection company:
Be Mindful of Companies Employing Retired or Former Builders
Asbestos is a building material that has been used prominently during the industrial era and has seen a decline in usage during the 1960s. Despite its ban in Australia in 1967, many buildings were still made with asbestos-based materials. Suffice to say, you need to be mindful when a company boasts of having retired or former builders in their staff roster. While they may have years of experience and technical knowledge within the industry, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know anything about asbestos risk.
What you need to keep a proper eye on are retired or former builders who have little or no regard for safety concerns which will increase the likelihood that they wouldn’t bat an eye when they see asbestos in a home or office during an inspection. Tenure in an industry also doesn’t mean they undertook tertiary qualifications or formal training in safety, which are other things you need to look out for in companies with ‘veteran’ builders.
Take A Look at Their Website
Like any company these days, businesses have joined the online platform. Some have created pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to put their company on the market, while others use their own websites. If they don’t have a website in this day and age, you better start asking questions. Another thing to look out for is when a company advertises other inspection service unrelated with asbestos inspection. Finally, be very wary of an asbestos inspection company when they also offer asbestos removal services.
Watch Out for Asbestos Removalists Posing as Inspector
Asbestos removal and asbestos inspection are two completely different things. These types will offer you substandard reports usually before they offer you their other service, asbestos removal. Take note that reports should be about 30 or more pages in length. If you find that their reports are two to three pages wrong, you’re probably dealing with the wrong people. What these reports will usually include are things that say undamaged, bonded, and sealed asbestos-based materials are in dangerous states which will require removal. If you put two and two together, it’s basically them making sure you take up their removal service after inspection.
A good way to make sure their services are legitimate is to ask if they have a license for each service since, as mentioned earlier, inspection and removal are different. You can also check regulatory bodies to see if these asbestos inspection companies are on their list. An example of these regulatory bodies is WorkSafe which enforces and promotes health and safety in the workplace. Of course, double check or even triple check with other organizations to make sure the company you are engaging with are offering legitimate services.
Grill A Graduate Consultant If You Have To
When engaging with large consultancy companies, you’ll probably have to deal with people who have only been in the company for one or two years. They don’t get enough training and are usually overworked. Eventually these consultants are let go for one reason or another and the company hires new consultants. This high turn-over rate has been named ‘burn and churn’. The consultants within these kinds of efficient money-making machines may generate messy and careless reports because of the work culture they’re in and the lack of training and experience. It’s hard to identify whether a company practices ‘burn and churn’ because most of these companies make sure that they look good on the outside—even their frontlines will appear very professional.
If you find yourself hiring a consultant from this kind of company, a great way to check if they can do the job is asking them if they have tertiary qualifications like in science, occupational hygiene, or engineering. You can also ask about their professional history to see for how long they’ve been in the industry and for which companies. A consultant without the qualifications or the industry experience are questionable at best and unqualified at worst. It will be tough to distinguish whether an asbestos inspection company is legitimate or not, but when your life could be on the line it is imperative for you to find out who is safe to work with and who to say no to. Not only will this save you your time and money down the line, but it could also mean saving your life.