When everything goes according to plan, asbestos removal generally follows a specific, set path:
- A certified assessor inspects a job site for possible asbestos containing materials asbestos containing materials When prudent, the assessor removes samples from suspected asbestos containing materials (ACMs) to perform tests on the materials.
- Once the tests have been completed and the level of asbestos on-site is determined, certified workers undertake a removal and abatement process on the job site. asbestos not removed outright is properly sealed or contained so as not to pose a risk.
- All asbestos is removed from the site and disposed of following government-mandated procedures.
- A clearance inspector examines the job site to determine whether all asbestos has been properly removed.
The final step, for asbestos clearance inspections, is perhaps the most important aspect of the entire asbestos removal process, as regular work on the site cannot resume until the inspector has awarded the site with an asbestos Clearance Certificate.
In order to ensure a thorough, unbiased job, the clearance inspector must first be considered a “Competent Person.” A competent person is an individual who has received the proper training and certification to properly inspect an asbestos job site. To properly avoid bias, the inspector cannot be affiliated with the person(s) performing the removal work.
To assist the clearance inspector, it is recommended that asbestos removalists thoroughly document the processes and procedures utilized for asbestos removal, as well as the specific objects and object locations targeted for removal.
A close visual inspection of each area is absolutely mandatory. The competent person must act as a sort of shadow for the removalists, examining at close range each object and inspecting the area for any asbestos debris or residue. It is not the inspector’s duty to distinguish between debris containing asbestos and debris that does not, but any material suspected as containing asbestos will likely result in a delay of clearance certification.