The Role of the Asbestos Analyst; What Is It?

The services provided by the asbestos analyst are integral to the asbestos removal process

What is the role of the analyst?

When asbestos removal projects are undertaken the independent asbestos analyst will fulfil a wide number of key roles whilst on site. These can include checking the quality of works undertaken, monitoring the safety of the operatives and other building occupants, and assessment of whether the area is suitable for re-occupation once the removal works have been completed.

There is also a legal requirement for an independent asbestos analyst to be appointed to complete a four stage clearance procedure (4SC).

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Why are analysts so important?

The services provided by the asbestos analyst are integral to the asbestos removal process and ensure the protection of workers on site and to ensure the safety of any other persons nearby or who could be affected before, during and after the works.

Who appoints the analyst?

HSG248 Edition 2 recommends the analyst should be appointed by the client not the removal contractor wherever possible. Clause 1.22, states:

‘It is strongly recommended that the analyst for site clearance certification is independently sourced and employed by the building owner or occupier (ie building client) in control of the premises.’

Clients can appoint an analyst, before, during and after removal works. However, HSG248 Edition 2 states that the analyst should be involved from early in the process to help design the project and agree the outcome; this is critical on more complex projects. This is the main and crucial difference in the new HSG248 guidance, compared to the previous edition.

HSG 248 Edition 2 also suggests that the process should be client & consultant led from the start of project to the end of project, and not contractor led as has previously often been the case.

Benefits of appointing the analyst during removal works, and not just at the end of a project, include air monitoring data being collected throughout the works to demonstrate evidence of working practises being effective and safe, as well as ensuring control measures are consistently maintained and highlighting any concerns, problems or safety concerns during works.

The analyst can then use this information to clarify reasons or circumstances for negative occurrences, problems on site or during removal works and provide evidence and solutions to problems that have arisen.

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What are analysts not responsible for?

Whilst the analyst can provide information and practical solutions to these problems onsite, it is the licensed contractors legal responsibility to ensure any failings are resolved.

Analysts do not provide ‘direct supervisory control’ for asbestos works.

Analysts also do not directly carry out ‘licensable’ work as defined in CAR2012 regulation 2.

What qualifications do analysts need to hold?

Asbestos analysts are required to be qualified BOSH to P403 and P404 level. Alternatively, they can hold the RSPH Level 3 certificate in Air Monitoring and Clearance Procedures and perform works in accordance with HSG248 Edition 2 ‘Asbestos: The Analysts Guide’. They will also require practical experience undertaking air testing, audits and constant monitoring.

Asbestos analytical companies must hold UKAS accreditation for these activities. EMS’s accreditation to ISO17025 can be found here:


What support services are offered by the analysts to aid project management?

The asbestos analyst can provide a range of project management services and support services regarding asbestos removal projects. This support can vary based on the needs and requirements of the project itself as well as factors such as size and materials for example.

On small asbestos removal projects, this support may be limited to the completion of the statutory 4-stage clearance (4SC) at the end of works.

On larger projects or projects with more complexity the involvement of the analyst is likely to be significantly greater. This support will often begin at the start of project and could also include preparation of a technical specification of works and coordination of the tendering process for removal works.

In addition to 4 Stage Clearance Services, the analyst can offer the following range of services:

• Inspection and monitoring activities

• Licensed contractor document checks

• Leak testing of enclosures

• Investigation of leak test failures

• Measuring negative pressure in enclosures and air flows of negative pressure units

• Personal monitoring of asbestos removal operatives to provide data for exposure assessments and planning any future works if required

• Monitoring in enclosures

• Visual inspection of cleanliness of equipment leaving site

• Client/Contractor liaison including with the LARC (licensed asbestos removal contractor) and any other key stakeholders

• Ongoing development of air testing strategies and interpretation of results as required

• Diary of work to provide written log of all activities undertaken on site
• Auditing of the works and site

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What are monitoring strategies?

The analyst can also provide guidance on monitoring strategies for personal and static sampling.  

This can include leak testing; a regime for leak testing would vary for example, if it was occupied or unoccupied.

The analyst can also provide advice on the most effective sampling regime for operatives; this ensures that the highest risk activities are properly assessed at appropriate intervals.

Keeping accurate records of work; why is this important?

Ensuring that work and site activities are accurately recorded during sampling, is another important role of the analyst on site. This can be collected via a viewing panel or CCTV.

This will also require the analyst to collaborate and communicate effectively with the LARC to establish what work should be undertaken compared to what was viewed to have been undertaken.

This information can be used to alert the LARC to issues arising in real time and provide data for future assessments.

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