Managing large scale national and often complex assets pose many challenges including, varying methods of communication, monitoring compliance over multiple assets, and assuring the quality of surveys and works within each asset.
Richard Bennion, Head of Property Risk and Compliance at Royal Mail, delivered a keynote session at Asbestos The Truth conference 2018. With hundreds of sites throughout the UK, Royal Mail Plc forms the backbone of the UK’s mail distribution operations. Discussing the approach taken by the organisation, Bennion informs the delegates in attendance of the practical difficulties in planning asbestos projects and reviews how Construction Design Management (CDM) requirements are embraced to maintain a safe and healthy environment, safeguarding workers and operate a responsible compliant business.
As with all businesses, achieving compliance is paramount in protecting teams and ultimately protecting the business. Some of the compliance obligations that Royal Mail and other businesses with many assets aim to fulfil are (but are not limited to):
- Complying with asbestos regulations
- Management of health and safety regulations
- Construction (design and management) – embraced
- Environmental act
With 1751 live buildings and buildings dating back to 1880, managing a strategic and fluid asbestos management and remediation plan across the entire estate is no small feat.
Based on the level of asbestos-containing material (ACM) status and quantity, annual remedial work is carried out strategically with business operations in mind. If the ACM poses a risk to teams then the priority must be to protect them. Should this impact on business operations, moving the operations to different buildings or diverting operations to other offices will occur.
Planning in Practice
When using or procuring a provider it’s imperative to conduct due diligence. Resist blindly trusting labels and badges. Using a robust procurement process that delves into the details of each provider and the individuals who will be working on the estate to check for competence and gives confidence in reaching the project goals.
Trusting Your Provider
As a client, it is important to communicate with the Project Lead and the Site Team a common and consistent approach and methodology to the action plan. Ensuring the project objectives and outcomes, along with a clear timeline are communicated during the preliminary stages of the procurement process so that the potential provider knows what is expected and what will be agreed with the client prior to the commencement of engaging in the contract.
According to Bennion there are several elements to consider and action when briefing and managing contractors/providers and the asbestos management plan:
- Pre-start arrangements – communicate in the contract what is expected, clear information, instructions, and objectives and KPIs
- The various roles of each individual during the project
- Residual risks – early warning signs should be communicated
- Completion and handover – measure the results against the agreed KPIs stated within the contract
- Validation – ensure all paperwork is collated and validated before the end of the contract
For Bennion, both the client and the asbestos industry (including providers, suppliers, surveyors, and contractors) can complete successful asbestos management projects through these actions:
- Do your homework
- Provide a clear brief
- Use realistic timescales and resources and plan contingencies
- Monitor performance throughout the project
- Maintain data integrity
- Be honest
- Ensure the quality and timing of service and paperwork and communicate early warning signs to the client
- Offer options to prevent regret spending
Want to know more about Asbestos Management Plans? Discover more with Lucion Services here: Lucion Services Asbestos Management Plans
Royal Mail: https://www.royalmail.com/
Lucion Services Asbestos Management Plans: http://www.lucionservices.com/services/asbestos-management-plans/