Beware asbestos contractors that offer asbestos testing

Some asbestos contractors offer an all-in-one service: they test samples for asbestos, and if asbestos is found, they will remove it.

But rather than getting your asbestos testing done by an asbestos contractor, you should get samples tested independently, by a laboratory that’s NATA accredited for the type of testing you need.

Using a NATA-accredited laboratory is a requirement of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. It will also ensure the testing is rigorous and independent.

Why not get testing done by the contractor?

Why should you be cautious about using an asbestos contractor for testing?

There are two main reasons: potential conflict of interest, and lack of expertise.

Asbestos contractors have a potential conflict of interest because, if tests come back positive, the material will have to be removed, resulting more revenue for the contractor. It’s not that we believe asbestos contractors deliberately falsify results, but a lack of independence can have subtly influence the way results are interpreted.

Asbestos contractors also have a lack of expertise, especially around the taking of samples (making sure the right material is being sampled) and the integrity of samples (making sure samples are treated the right way).

The only way to be sure asbestos testing is done with the right level of expertise is to demand NATA accreditation.

What is NATA accreditation?

NATA (the National Association of Testing Authorities) is recognised by the Australian Government as the national authority for the accreditation of laboratories and a peak authority for the accreditation of inspection bodies.

NATA Accreditation is about being able to have confidence in the data and information necessary for you to make informed decisions.

How can I tell if a testing service is NATA accredited?

You can check if a facility is NATA accredited, and the scope of their accreditation, at the NATA website.

What should I look for in a test report?

Unless the laboratory performing the tests has been involved in the sampling, the report may include a statement such as “samples were tested as received”. This means the contractor has provided the samples to the laboratory.

If the sampling itself was performed by an accredited laboratory, details of the sampling should be provided in a NATA-endorsed report.

Use Airsafe to collect and test samples for asbestos

Airsafe is NATA accredited in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4964 — Method for the qualitative identification of asbestos in bulk samples. We collect samples for testing, then conduct testing in our state-of-the-art laboratory.

Our independence and NATA accreditation ensure sample integrity, and the high level of expertise of our staff means you can trust our test results. Our customer satisfaction and industry reputation are second to none.

Call Airsafe on (02) 9555 9034 to arrange sample collection and testing.

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