In support of regulations, UKAS accredits a large number of Laboratories that carry out Asbestos testing to the internationally recognised standard ISO/IEC 17025.
The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 give minimum standards for protecting employees from risks associated with exposure to asbestos. An Approved Code of Practice (L143) and guidance (HSG 248) give practical advice on how to comply with legal duties set out in the Regulations. Critically;
Employers are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 where they contract any person to perform asbestos air testing and site clearance (Reg 20)*
Employers are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 where they contract any person to perform analysis of material to check for asbestos is (Reg 21)*
* Except where testing is conducted by the employer for their own needs. However, the criteria for meeting the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 still has to be met.
In support of the Regulations UKAS accredits the following areas of asbestos testing:
Sampling of air for fibre counting
Fibre counting (PLM/PCM)
Fibre counting (air and/or bulk) and Identification (SEM/TEM)
4 Stage Clearance Process
Identification of asbestos in bulk materials
Asbestos In Soils – Identification
Additionally, the following testing activities are also offered for accreditation purposes to add value to the suite of activities mandated by Regulation:
Sampling of bulk materials for asbestos identification
Water absorption – to clarify whether asbestos boards and tiles are classified as materials that require a licence to work on (eg AIB) or as asbestos materials that do not require a licence (eg Asbestos Cement)
Asbestos in soils – Quantification/free-fibre analysis
Fibre discrimination in air
Note: Fibre discrimination is only undertaken during the second analysis of a sample, i.e. after an initial fibre count has been undertaken, for which accreditation is required (see above).