Field Trial for ALERT System
ACAD has been supporting the development of the ALERT system for a number of years and it’s great to see this hasnow reached the field trial stage. We caught up with GilpinEnvironmental’s Technical Manager Rob Burley to find out why they are supporting this trial…
“It really is a great piece of kit with potentially some great applications.The ability to offer real time fibre monitoring could revolutionise the air monitoring associated with asbestos removal works. The main problem with leak testing for example is the time delay involved and, unless youhappened to be running a test when a problem arises, you might never know a leak has occurred. Whilst ALERT is a long way from a UKAS/WHO approved method; it does not produce a concentration for example,being able to give an instant ALERT to the presence of airborne asbestos fibres outside a working area has obvious advantages.
Such an approach would mean main contractors and clients could even undertake their own ad hoc monitoring outside enclosures, strengthening their auditing ability as the ALERT system requires little training to operate, unlike the technical proficiency required to collect and read a traditional air test.”
ALERT uses laser light scattering technology in conjunction withthe unique paramagnetic properties of asbestos fibres to make the statistical analysis to 98% confidence.
The ALERT range of devices was designed initially to provide a first line of defence for those likely to accidentally disturb asbestos during work.
ALERT Technology, a spin out from The Select Group of CompaniesLtd, officially began trading on 1st January 2017. £1m of private equity investment was secured, enabling ALERT Technology to movetowards commercialisation. Investment has allowed ALERT to expandtheir team, produce sample units for commercial field trials with future customers ahead of commercial production and further enhance and improve the technology.
“ALERT confirms Asbestos fibres are present and does so incredibly quickly but this system cannot be used to determine the fibre concentrations. That’s where the existing PCM technique is needed,” explains Loretta King, ALERT Technology’s MarketingDirector. “We really see this system as offering a useful supplement to existing technologies in the Asbestos sector, not a replacement for these tried and trusted techniques.”
ACAD members can get involved with ALERT field trials. The development team are looking for participants who are actively removing asbestos in a variety of environments.
To register your interest contact [email protected] or call 01803 540154 (option 5).
Away from the Asbestos sector, ALERT was originally conceived as a safety device for tradespeople to offer an immediate ALERT should they inadvertently disturb asbestos or they find themselves in an asbestos contaminated area.
“Here at Gilpin Environmental Ltd we pride ourselves on being market leaders and we ensure we have all the necessaryinformation relating to Asbestos prior to starting work,” says Rob. “This includes ensuring an appropriate R&D survey isin place and all our employees have received suitable and sufficient Asbestos training as a minimum. Surveys can oftenmiss an ACM which is why our training is designed to kick in acting as a failsafe. By introducing the ALERT system into this hierarchy of control, the reliability of the failsafe is boosted considerably and therefore the safety of my colleagues and our clients is enhanced too.