Case Study 1: Government department portfolio
A government department with an extensive portfolio of properties had a visit from WorkSafe NZ looking for a site-specific asbestos management plan. Due to some confusion on site, the plan was unable to be produced. The Department was ordered to provide a plan to the regulator within a period of time; however, as a result of personnel changes, the window to comply became quite narrow.
The visit was a catalyst for the Department to complete comprehensive surveys of all properties built prior to 2000 and other locations in newer sites based on a risk assessment, to inform site-specific management plans. A critical success factor was the ability for the Department and its contractor to be able to view all the risks, including by number and severity, across the portfolio and individual site without incurring additional cost.
MCG quoted to survey the first site, including an estimate of the number of samples that would need to be taken. We used records from previous surveys wherever possible, to avoid duplication and reduce cost. We put two competent surveyors on the job and quickly mobilised them to get the survey of the large and complex site done.
In the meantime, we worked with the facilities team to develop a fit-for-purpose template for their site-specific management plans, that could be populated as soon as we had the survey data.
The plan was provided to the regulator on time. The Department was pleased to receive very positive feedback from the regulator about the quality of the plan.
Subsequent surveys were undertaken of the rest of the portfolio, based on quoted time and an estimate of the samples that would be required. During the first survey, MCG asked the Department if we could move to an Open Book arrangement, as it was apparent we had over-estimated the time and number of samples required. We pride ourselves on being independent of laboratories as well as removal companies and are much more comfortable with this approach.
MCG provided asbestos awareness training to the facilities and health and safety teams. We also provided training at no charge to members of the facilities team on how to get the most out of the information in the client portal and maintain the site registers. They appreciate that we are there to support them as required.
We have been developing scopes of work for the required remediation, to issue to removalists. When we receive their quotes (which can vary widely!), we complete a summary for the client that explains the differences in terms of the risks being managed, and provide an estimate of our costs as the assessor, based on the methodologies proposed by the removalists. Our client thus has a clear understanding of the risks and costs of remediation to inform their decision-making.
Once we have cleared the site for re-occupation, we update the asbestos register and relevant management plan with the new risk status. The clearance certificate, including associated air monitoring, is available to view on the client portal.
If you are looking for a partner to help your role as kaitiaki of your workplace, contact Major Consulting Group Ltd on 0800 44 00 70.