A Chorley firm is waging a war against a deadly mineral after being awarded a safety award to tackle high risk asbestos.
READ MORE: Click here for more stories
Greenfield Removals, run by brothers Tom and Ian Yates, has been given an official Health and Safety Executive licence award, meaning they can branch out to removing high risk licenced asbestos work.
Tom says: “We had to go through a very strict scrutiny process where the Health and Safety Executive assessed our health and safety regulations and management systems. We went through various health screenings to ensure our processes were safe.
“They assessed we were fit enough to get a licence, which means we are now able to take on all kinds of asbestos work.
“We will now be assessed every year to ensure we are keeping up the safety practices.
If there is asbestos in your house, it is important to get it removedTom Yates
“This was the first time we applied for the licence and it has opened up so many doors for us. Now we can do all kinds of asbestos work and gain contracts from councils and big firms.
“Before this, we could only take on low risk work.”
As a result of the new licence, Greenfield Removals has gained contracts with Chorley and South Ribble Council, Blackpool Housing, Bright House and AO.com.
Tom, who now lives in Wigan, adds: “We are highly ambitious and we want to continue to grow. We want to go national and compete with the bigger firms.”
Pure asbestos is an effective insulator for buildings, and can be mixed into cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger.
Because of this, asbestos has been used in the construction of buildings and can be found in any building built before the year 2000.
When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air.
When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, pleural thickening and asbestosis which often take a long time to develop. It is estimated disturbed asbestos causes around 5,000 deaths every year.
Tom adds: “Asbestos is a class one carcinogen and the airborne fibres can cause cancer.
“If there is asbestos in your house, it is important to get it removed.
“If left, it releases fibres into the air. Once breathed in, it can be fatal.
“It can often be found when you are renovating your property.
“It is important to get a survey done and have asbestos ceilings tested. It might look like plasterboard but it can release millions of fibres which can be deadly.”
The brothers set up Greenfield Removals two years ago, after Ian, 30, who had worked in the industry for almost 15 years, decided to launch on his own.
Younger brother Tom jumped at the chance to help him, providing IT and marketing support.
The pair, who attended Albany Science College, ran the company from home, but as business began to pick up, it expanded, to having an office in Chorley and nine members of staff.
Tom, 26, says; “Ian has worked in the asbestos industry since he left school.
“He had worked his way up and he wanted a new challenge.
“He decided to set up his own firm and with my background in IT and marketing, I joined him.
“We complement each other as we are the polar opposite.
“Ian is used to dealing with construction workers and I am used to dealing with corporate clients.
“Ian is good at making sure everything is running smoothly and organising the lads, whilst I sort out all our marketing and business side.
“We have only run the company for a couple of years and we have already taken on another director, Peter Dunion, who previously worked for one of the biggest asbestos companies in the UK.
“This is really exciting as he will help drive the business forward.”