After working towards and developing procedures to transition from ISO9001:2008 to the new ISO9001:2015, earlier this month the Association gained certification to the new standard with no non-conformances or opportunities for improvement identified.
The Association has followed and been audited under the ISO9001 quality management system for the last thirteen years. The ARCA quality management system (QMS) describes the approach, procedures and processes to be followed in order to demonstrate the Association’s ability to consistently provide quality membership, training and auditing services.
This new standard includes more emphasis on assessing leadership; what are the organisation’s goals and how will these be achieved. Also, there is more on risk based thinking; ability to look at the bigger picture to see and take action on any risks to the business, as well as opportunities.
The auditor from NQA commented in his report; ‘the QMS was found to be comprehensive and continues to meet the needs of the Association.’
“I’m delighted to say ARCA obtained this new standard with no issues reported,” commented Steve Sadley, Chief Executive of ARCA. “The team has worked hard over the last twelve-months to transition to this new standard, and the result of the audit highlights our commitment to continually deliver a first-class service.”
As from 15 February 2018 licensed asbestos removal contractors should complete a ‘Handover Form’ which should be given to the Analyst before the 4-stage clearance starts.
At the February 2018 ALG Meeting it was discussed that the licensed asbestos removal contractors should ensure that the asbestos enclosure or work area has been thoroughly cleaned by the contractor and that a thorough visual inspection has been completed by the contractor.
Following this the contractor should complete a ‘Handover Form’ which should be given to the Analyst before the 4-stage clearance starts. The Analyst should not start the clearance until the Handover Form has been received and is satisfactory, at which time the Analyst should sign and date the form.
In summary, the contractor should not arrange for the 4-stage clearance procedure to start until satisfied that:
• All the asbestos has been removed as detailed in the POW;
• The area inside the enclosure and airlocks is both clean and dry and has already passed their own thorough visual inspection;
• A Handover Form has been prepared for the Analyst;
• Sealant has not been applied.
ARCA Members can find a copy of this ‘Handover Form’ in the Member Portal within the Resources section.
Following announcing the availability of CSCS Cards through the Association, 100 ARMI Skills Cards have now been issued.
These cards, for asbestos removal operatives and managers, together with cards for asbestos analysts and surveyors, have been issued as both physical smartcards and also as virtual smartcards.
“The volume of take up has been quicker than we thought,” commented Steve Sadley, Chief Executive of ARCA.
“Also, virtual smartcards have been requested by the majority of applicants, as they can have a card on their phone (after downloading the app) within minutes of the application being processed. There have been some applicants who have left their application to the last minute, so this service has definitely been a benefit to them!”
Information and application forms for ARMI Skills Cards can be found here.
Last year ARCA’s team of auditors carried out over 360 site audits of members’ licensed asbestos removal work, under the Association’s Site Audit Accreditation Scheme.
These unannounced audits were conducted across domestic, commercial and industrial properties in the UK.
The content of an ARCA audit, together with the fact that members do not know where or when an ARCA auditor will be assessing their work, continues to support members’ business performance and provide a system of reassurance for all parties, including end-clients.
In October 2017 a proposed change to Regulation 22 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012), was the subject of a public consultation following the post implementation review (PIR) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2012) recommending exploring the possibility of reducing the frequency by one year with which licensed asbestos workers undergo medical examination.
Today HSE has published the analysis of the consultation responses.
In light of the responses HSE received on this consultation, HSE has decided not to proceed with the proposed amendment at this time. Therefore, licensed workers will continue to be examined by an HSE appointed doctor every two years and those undertaking notifiable non-licensed work will continue to be examined every three years.
HSE has concluded that the proposed amendment would have had no negative impacts on workers’ health or altered the prognosis of those whose previous exposures may have resulted in asbestos-related disease. CAR 2012 puts in place a robust regulatory framework of management through risk assessment and control of exposure to asbestos in the workplace; it is and will continue to be key in preventing asbestos-related disease.
The analysis of the consultation responses is available online here