Asbestos management case study
Asbestos Essentials was founded in late 2017 by a leadership team boasting more than 50 years of industry experience. With offices in Milton Keynes and London, the company has expanded rapidly to offer comprehensive, UK-wide asbestos surveying, removal and remediation services.
The foundations of Asbestos Essential’s growth come from its twin commitments to customer service, and best practice safety and environmental standards. In addition to a highly experienced management team, the business is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001, and licensed by the HSE and Environment Agency in asbestos management and disposal.
The asbestos industry is highly regulated. As Asbestos Essentials’ business gathered pace, it faced many of the common administrative challenges posed by mandatory record keeping. With site records completed on paper and held in large binders on site, managers didn’t have easy access to information that would help them improve the performance on safety of ongoing jobs.
Additionally, the team faced the headache of processing large quantities of paperwork once it returned to the office at the end of an audit or project. With huge files, containing hundreds of sheets of paper, the task was taking up valuable office time that could be better dedicated to improving standards and growing the business.
In spring 2020, Asbestos Essentials became an Assure360 customer. It chose to deploy the Assure360 Paperless app, in the process equipping its site supervisors with iPads. Asbestos Essentials took advantage of the Assure360 rollout to provide supervisors with other support for remote working, installing Dropbox to allow the easy sharing of plant and equipment paperwork, along with policies, licences and other useful site documentation.
Asbestos Essentials quickly began to benefit from Assure360 Paperless’ ability to streamline and simplify asbestos management paperwork. While some of its less technical staff initially needed extra guidance, the team could call on Assure360’s technical support and assistance to help ensure that everyone quickly understood the new system.
Assure 360’s granular data capture and cloud database meant that critical site and employee information could now be gathered and stored electronically, dispensing with the need for bundles of paper. Additionally, with essential reference documents now provided electronically, project teams no longer needed large folders to hand while they worked.
Aside from streamlining on-site record collection – and allowing supervisors to concentrate on supervising – the move to Paperless brought major benefits to the office. With information gathered and shared in near-real time, the management team could see at a glance what was being done on site – and whether anything had been forgotten.
The ready availability of site data has also freed office staff from the chore of processing large volumes of paperwork as it returns from site. And with automated analysis of the data, the team has easier access to insight that can help them drive safety and environmental standards still higher.
What the client said
“The amount of paperwork, audits and so on that we produced was astronomical. Having a cloud-based system like this, it allows us to see in real time what’s going on on site. Plus all of the paperwork that had to get done and sorted when it got back to the office, that’s now done on the system – rather than having big huge files which we then have to archive.
“It means as well that I don’t have to pull out files and show auditors: ‘well, that’s this file. That’s this file.’ and so on. Now I just need to find a job on the system and pull it up and it’s there.
“Our work in this industry is very much process-driven. A really good thing about Assure360 is you can’t move on to the next bit until you’ve done the bit before. It won’t let you close the job at the end of the day until you’ve done all the checks and all the things you’re supposed to do.
“Also, if we have jobs going on where we’ve got multiple supervisors, you can actually hand it over to another supervisor and it appears on their iPad instantaneously. If an HSE inspector turns up and says ‘you only started working at four o’clock today; what happened during the rest of the day?’, you can run through all of the things that have been done on the previous shift because it’s all there for you.
“When we first took on Assure360, we met with some initial scepticism on our supervisors’ part. All that they had known was paper, so their concerns were understandable. However, with support from myself – and directly from the Assure360 team, they have really taken to the system.
“The Paperless app is so easy to use and intuitive, it cuts out nearly all of their admin tasks. They love it – even if I wanted to go back to the old ways, they wouldn’t let me.”
- David Wilson
- HSEQ Director
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