Recently, ION Environmental completed remediation works at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. The hospital’s current asbestos consultant contracted us to decontaminate and environmentally clean a 65m steam duct.

Our scope of works and key challenges

Our scope of works involved the decontamination of specific areas of the belowground steam duct, under locally controlled asbestos conditions.

In order to successfully complete our responsibilities on this project, we needed to overcome a number of challenges. One of these was the fact that the steam duct could only be accessed by personnel that had received training in:

  • Working within confined spaces
  • Emergency procedures
  • Asbestos removal

Further issues that we faced and solved on this project included dealing with high temperatures, of up to 45 degrees centigrade within the steam duct and having to safely deliver our works within a live hospital environment, without causing any disruption.

Execution of our works

In order to ensure the successful delivery of the programmed works on this project, we assigned team members that possessed numerous years of experience working with similar complex conditions and confined spaces. Additionally, we installed a tripod and winch system to enable our operatives to be able to safely enter the duct. This system also formed a central part of our emergency evacuation plan.

Prior to each shift, we conducted tests of the atmospheric conditions within the duct. In fact, in order to ensure the safety of our team, we constantly measured and kept track of the temperatures within the duct, throughout the project, using four-way personal gas monitors.

In addition, we mitigated against heat stroke by having our teams enter the steam duct in shift patterns, and instructed them to let us know immediately if they felt it was time to leave the duct. Due to consistent and effective communications between the supervisor outside the duct and the team working within it, we were able to safely and effectively manage and carry out the project.

In a testament to our expertise carrying out complex remediation projects and working in live environments, ION successfully completed our scope of works on time, without any incidents and within budget.

For more information about the rise of asbestos contamination within the healthcare sector and the services we offer to combat these alarming statistics, please click here.

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