5 Questions All Facility Managers Should Ask to Save Money

5 Questions All Facility Managers Should Ask to Save Money

As a facility manager, it is your job to ensure your commercial property is safe and usable for all parties who rent or occupy it. For many older buildings, part of that responsibility includes asbestos abatement as needed. Working in an environment with stray asbestos fibers can be a serious health hazard and can present legal liabilities to building owners and managers. There are several abatement methods that can be used to get asbestos under control and protect people within your facility from exposure.

Due to the size and complexity of the average industrial or commercial facility, asbestos abatement and remediation jobs can be costly. Typically, the more square footage of asbestos needing abatement, the more expensive the project. You’ll want to find ways to keep costs low, starting with some upfront questions to ask your asbestos remediator or assessment team. You’ll find that you can save yourself thousands of dollars if you approach this the right way.

Here are five questions all facility managers should ask about asbestos remediation to save money:

  1. Can your asbestos abatement contractor demonstrate similar sizes and types of abatement projects with referral contact information for the last 5 or 6 projects completed?

Your asbestos abatement contractor should be highly experienced and able to demonstrate a wide scope of abatement projects. Your industrial hygiene (IH) consultant should help you pre-qualify any abatement contractors invited to bid on the work. Once the project is awarded to them, you should also closely review the contractor’s pre-construction submittal package and ensure the necessary regulatory agency notifications are submitted.

  1. Do you have quality abatement design documents that can be used to ensure a safe project, allow for apples-to-apples bidding, and to minimize last-minute change orders?

Quality abatement design documents should outline the scope of abatement, permitting, responsibilities, engineering controls needed, administrative requirements, waste packaging, and disposal requirements, and environmental monitoring. The IH consultant should be EPA accredited for asbestos abatement project design and may also require a state license. Typically, it is recommended that a mandatory pre-bid conference be held by the facility manager and IH design consultant to help ensure apples-to-apples bids are received.

  1. Has there been a recent survey of the affected work area by an independent IH Consultant and do you know the limitations of the survey findings?

Before beginning any asbestos abatement, you should have an inspection firm conduct an on-site survey, (independent from the abatement contractor) and show sufficient liability insurance suitable to environmental site assessments. The abatement contractor should follow the plan set by the IH (industrial hygienist) consultant and ensure the plan is following the requirements set forth by OSHA and the US EPA. Without professional liability insurance and adequate licensing, your property may not have the resources for damages due to error in judgment.

  1. Do you have to remove all the asbestos or are there other options that should be considered?

The amount, types, and condition of asbestos you have on your property will ultimately impact the cost of the project. Asbestos abatement can be completed through removal, encapsulation or repair, and enclosure systems. Removal entails actually removing the asbestos sources from your facility, whereas encapsulation entails sealing off those sources to prevent any fibers from escaping into the open air. One process might be much less expensive than the other, depending on the details of your project, the size of your facility, and the total square footage of asbestos that needs to be abated. Your IH design consultant should explain the pros and cons of each method. Often, bid alternates can be requested from your abatement contractor to allow you to choose the approach that makes the most sense in your situation.

  1. Are the schedules realistic or might there be savings by using alternate phasing and work schedules?

Project plans can easily range between less than a hundred to many thousand defined tasks, depending on the facility manager’s scope of the project. Flexible schedules permit better control, more realistic phasing and often less cost. In addition, having adequate surveys and design along with a solid construction and asbestos abatement team will ultimately help to ensure a successful and safe project.

Simplify Your Asbestos Abatement Plan with Our Help

Going through the asbestos abatement process for the facility you manage can be a headache if you aren’t asking the right questions. RPF Environmental, Inc. is here to help make it as simple and as stress-free as possible. Our asbestos assessment teams in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts can fully survey your property, conduct our own laboratory testing on samples, assist you with remediation design and contract administration, and much more. With our services, you can be confident that you are making the right choices that save you the most money.

You can reach RPF Environmental, Inc. by filling out an online contact form, or by dialing (888) 293-0619 today.

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