Sometimes projects have lots of daunting constraints: urgent timescales, incomplete machinery records, complex sites that need to continue to be operational, budget limitations, and – as in many cases over the last 18 months – the ongoing unpredictability of a global pandemic. That’s the situation that a certain client found itself in when one of its 70m  ovens had to be refurbished in time for the Easter Holiday rush. What happened next shows that with the right experts on the case, no situation is too hot to handle.

The Goal

Getting the best out of older equipment

The use of asbestos in new industrial equipment has been banned since November 1999, but many perfectly serviceable pieces of older equipment continue to form the backbone of industry. Asbestos is therefore commonplace in ovens and similarly harsh environments, and maintaining this equipment is a vital element of budget management. It’s also something that is required for HSE compliance under the Asbestos in Old Equipment guidance. As with many companies, this client of ours knew that asbestos was present in their biscuit oven, but its extent was unknown. When one of their trusty ovens required essential refurbishment works, an otherwise straightforward job had the potential to turn into an expensive headache. For this reason, they turned to OMC for help.

The theory

Knowing that asbestos is present but being unsure of its extent is a familiar situation. As such, very few companies have budgeted for asbestos removal, so when an emergency repair is needed it can cause real problems. OMC, therefore, offers a personalised, streamlined service that can navigate the project from start to finish in a way that minimises stress for the client whilst ensuring the safety of the environment and the employees. 

How We Helped

What we did

An initial asbestos consultation offered a general idea about the scale of the asbestos problem in the bakery, and this was followed by a detailed project-specific Asbestos Refurbishment survey. Through this, the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were identified, and OMC then had the information to specify and tender to identify the best solution that fitted within the unique project constraints. In order to ensure that the project was completed safely and to standard, OMC gave analytical support during removal. The support included inspections and testing, leading to the clearance and issuing of analytical certification confirming that proposed refurbishment works could proceed safely.

The theory

Experience can make all the difference when it comes to navigating a complex project. Employing contractors to carry out the asbestos removal is often preferable, but to ensure cost-effectiveness it is usually better to ask an experienced company to manage the tendering, especially when there are difficulties such as needing to keep operations running. It is also important to ensure compliance and safety at all stages of the project, so having a company such as OMC to oversee asbestos removal operations can result in a more effective outcome.

The Outcome

As expected, ACMs were found in multiple locations, and with the help of OMC the client was able to draw up a reasonable plan for the safe removal of the asbestos. OMC tendered a Licensed contractor that was able to successfully carry out the work within the unusual specifications of the project. The entire process was overseen by OMC’s analytic and testing experts so that the certification could be confidently signed off. The work was carried out within both budget and timescale, ensuring that the biscuits were safely baked in time for Easter.  

Our team of experienced asbestos technicians and safety specialists are on hand to help customers with a range of urgent asbestos-related issues, as well as training and ongoing management. Please get in touch to find out more.

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