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Pre-Refurbishment Asbestos Surveys Facilitating Phase 1 RAAC Assessments


Lucion Services is the UK market leader for accredited hazardous material testing, surveying, and consultancy. Providing trusted holistic environmental services to NHS clients across the UK. Following a competitive tender process, our team was awarded a contract with a North Western based NHS Foundation Trust for the position of Independent Asbestos Consultant, covering two of their acute sites.

The contract launched with a gap analysis of their existing asbestos information to assess compliance gaps in their management system. This was conducted by one of our BOHS Certificate of Competence in Asbestos (CoCA) qualified Consultants. After assessing the Trust’s compliance status, our consultants recommended management surveys for both sites and historic records archived. The survey was completed in collaboration with the Estates Team and department managers to develop a suitable programme of work in the acute hospital sites.


Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) Roof Planks were identified as a high risk for the Trust on its Risk Register. RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete used primarily for roofs during the mid-late 1900s. There are 15 Trusts nationally that have some form of RAAC in their buildings but, in most of these cases, RAAC is only in a small section of the estate. Of the 7 Trusts that are constructed more widely of RAAC planks, 2 of the 7 were already included on the national Hospital Infrastructure Plan (HIP) for hospital replacements, leaving 5 Trusts, including our client, with risk. The planks were at risk of compliance failure and needed Phase 1 assessments to ascertain structural integrity but the ceiling voids, and in some cases the RAAC planks themselves, were contaminated with asbestos sprayed coating or spray coating debris.

In some instances, RAAC planks are present in live wards and circulation areas. As a result of this, our asbestos pre-refurbishment asbestos surveys needed careful planning and engagement with end users, with work scheduled to be undertaken out of hours to mitigate impact to staff, patients and visitors.

The Solution

Our Contract Manager worked closely with the Trust to ensure works were carried out at the most convenient times, minimising ward downtime whilst securing protection of patients and staff.

During the asbestos pre-reburbishment surveys and during the RAAC assessments, a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor (LARC) was arranged to be on-site with our Lead Surveyor to assist with removing the metal tiles from the main corridor via a mobile tower and to be on hand to deal with any asbestos hazards found to be present.

Following the surveys, we have been involved in removal of the sprayed coating/spray residue to make the areas suitable for investigation by a structural engineer. Following the clearance, we have updated data and produced residual risk registers to help the Trust manage the ongoing risk during the structural survey works.

We have had 6 highly experienced surveyors and 8 analysts assigned to the site, delivering successful inspection and compliance management on complex asbestos management programmes to healthcare trusts.

To help support our client to efficiently and effectively manage their risks, we provided access to NexGen, our proprietary hazardous materials management software, facilitating the Estates team to access their asbestos data in an online ‘live’ system.

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