Lucion Services open new expanded facilities to enhance Laboratory Services13 May 2021
We are pleased to announce the fit-out of our new open-plan asbestos laboratory facilities at Lucion Services' headquarters in Gateshead.
The new lab expands Lucion’s testing services with the addition of extra floor space leading to an increased capacity through the provision of additional multi-purpose bench space, as well as creating specialised areas.
Our UKAS ISO 17025 accredited laboratory offers independent sampling, testing and analysis combined with quality reassurance to meet client demands. The expansion of facilities will enhance our capacity management and capabilities, enabling us to react quickly to urgent works and restricted timescales.
Operating since 2003, our laboratory services are offered through uncompromising quality controls - bulk sampling and analysis conducted by our BOHS certified analyst team following HSG 248 ‘The Analysts’ guide for sampling, analysis and clearance procedures and our own in-house methods.
The laboratory has recently developed a substantial suite of new services and the expanded facility has allowed us to create dedicated testing and calibration areas, set apart from the rest of the lab which will help to increase our capacity significantly.
The capacity increase will also have a positive effect on efficiency; reducing our turnaround time for our clients and providing faster results.
The expansion plans allowed us to address the ergonomics of the workspace for the health and wellbeing of our personnel, and to introduce carbon offsetting measures to reduce the building’s environmental impact.
The laboratory builds on the health and safety practices already in place to provide a Covid secure space for staff and clients.
Check out the photos of our new facilities in the image gallery below:
Range of Services
We have the experience and expertise to advise and help you manage your hazardous material risks and achieve compliance through best practice. Operating 7 days a week, the Lucion Laboratory is capable of processing a staggering 6,000 bulk samples per week (whilst still operating in line with UKAS acceptable limits of 70 sample points per day, per analyst).
Our Laboratory offers a suite of hazardous substance testing and analysis services, including:
- Asbestos bulk sampling and analysis
- Qualitative and quantitative identification of asbestos in soils
- Asbestos air testing and monitoring using Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy (PCOM) analysis
- Asbestos fibre determination and fibre counting, using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
We also offer testing and identification of asbestos fibres in gypsum powder samples, lead paint and Anthrax sampling and testing. From radon risk assessments to executing solutions, we can help you to achieve compliance.
At Lucion, we use Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis primarily for fibre determination and counting of airborne asbestos fibres, providing our clients with conclusive evidence of asbestos fibres in air samples and greater risk analysis and associated management capability.
SEM is a more powerful way of analysing hazardous material samples enabling magnification of samples of up to 200,000x, with fibre counting at 2000x in comparison to 500x magnification to a Phase Contrast Optical Microscope (PCOM) method.
Offering High Quality
All of our operational systems and safety processes, which we apply to sampling, testing and analysis of asbestos, are certified to ISO 9001:2000 quality assurance standard, so you can be reassured that the services we provide are both trusted and of high quality.
As our lab is Europe’s largest asbestos testing laboratory, all of our asbestos testing activities are subject to strict assurance measures to ensure integrity and impartiality. Our SEM analysts participate in proficiency schemes administered by the Health and Safety Laboratory for external integrity monitoring;
- Asbestos in Materials Scheme (AIMS)
- Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchange (RICE)
- Asbestos in Soils Scheme (AISS)
- Scanning Electron Microscopy Scheme (SEMS)
- Low Asbestos Content Scheme (LACS)
As one of only 3 UK suppliers to hold a UKAS accredited commercially used SEM, our team can identify asbestos fibres to the detection limit of 0.0005f/ml for airborne fibre, providing more accurate analysis and risk assessment of asbestos-containing materials.
Championing the Environment and Sustainability
We pride ourselves on operating as one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly asbestos laboratories. Our facility is installed with air source heat pumps and solar photovoltaic cells (light energy converted to electricity), meaning our lab runs on our own clean energy source.
By combining heat pumps with solar panels, we have begun the process of making our lab self-sufficient and eco-friendly.
To reduce our transportation emissions, we've installed Lightfoot devices in our van fleet to improve driver efficiency and safety. Additionally, all vehicles are equipped with an inverter and leisure battery (to reduce the need for engine idling and so cut emissions) to allow the rear compartment to be utilised as mobile laboratory space, which has been used on long-term projects and isolated sites where round the clock analysis is required i.e. offshore vessels, nuclear power stations.
Our laboratory, like any other, has high consumable usage of petri dishes. As part of our journey towards making our business sustainable and reducing waste, we have recently introduced reusable glass petri dishes at our laboratory, replacing disposable plastic ones, thereby saving energy, landfill space and eradicating single-use plastic from our process.
We are currently scoping out other items we can replace immediately with more sustainable substitutes and working with our supply chain and researchers to find more suitable sustainable alternatives.
As part of the wider initiative within the organisation, we encourage the use of public transport for commuting and have recently launched a Cycle to work scheme. The use of these modes of transport is exemplified by our laboratory staff, 40% of whom use these to travel to and from work.
Investing in our Health and Wellbeing
Physical workplace design is one of the top three factors that affect a person’s performance and job satisfaction. Surveys have indicated that people perform far better when their work environment is well lit, airy, comfortable and attractive.
Taking the interior design philosophy on board, our new laboratory has an open-plan layout with a large communal space and natural lighting - all contributing towards creating an airy, bright and relaxing working environment.
The open-plan space supports ease of communication among employees encouraging our teams to work effectively together.
Additionally, the open-plan office gives us flexibility and agility with opportunities to move around a space based on the work requirements and activity. Extra space also allows for the provision of a combination of sitting and standing benches in a range of heights giving staff greater flexibility for the DSE set up of their workspace, encouraging standing and moving more throughout the day for a positive impact on health.
Commenting on the new facilities and working space, analyst Daniel Embleton said:
"I have really enjoyed working in the new lab as it is spacious and has a lot of natural light. The ability to analyse while standing has improved my workflow while analysing soils and has the added health benefits of not sitting for too long during my shift. The amount of space in the lab has created a specific area to undertake gypsum sample preparation and improvements to the SEM room will allow for increased functions."
Managing Accessibility and Safety
The health, safety and well being of our teams and our clients remain our number one priority and we have taken action to ensure that we continue to deliver trusted risk management services in line with the UK Government’s “Working Safely During COVID-19” guidance. Adhering strictly to the guidelines and adapting our working patterns, combined with the application of our existing stringent safety procedures meant no positive Covid cases were impacting our delivery, allowing us to maintain operations throughout the pandemic.
Additionally, the laboratory is located at our head office in Gateshead and offers ample parking with proximity to public transport access. This allows for easy access for our clients to drop off their suitably packaged samples from the smallest fragments up to larger samples of pre-formed construction materials.
Focusing on Growth
The opening of the expanded facilities follows the appointment of Jane Fletcher as our Business Development Manager for Environmental Chemistry and Laboratory services, highlighting our strategic direction and focus on a strategic growth area for Lucion.
There is a very exciting future ahead for Lucion following the recent acquisition of Delta-Simons and the host of new opportunities that will bring in for the laboratory services.
The newly expanded facilities will be making a positive contribution to Lucion’s growth plans supporting Lucion's clients to manage the risks associated with substances of environmental concern by their analytical identification and quantification.
Lucion’s mission to build a safer and sustainable world, and the laboratory services fulfil it through the delivery of analytical identification and quantification of substances of health and environmental concern and helping our clients to understand and manage the risks associated with them.
To enquire about a service or any other query you may have about our Laboratory Services, please submit an online enquiry by clicking here.
Tool Box Talk: Asbestos Awareness
As part of Lucion’s Take Care Be Aware initiative, we actively take care of our health and safety responsibilities, with continuous awareness of our commitments to knowledge share and educate.
In doing so we have created a ‘toolbox talk’ on asbestos awareness to raise awareness of the hazards associated with asbestos-containing materials, enabling safety professionals to share knowledge and overall save the time and effort in producing them for you and your teams.
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