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What you need to know about asbestos databases

Asbestos databases are sometimes called portals and are an electronic place where your asbestos information and Health & Safety information is held and stored on an online system.

Lots of things are going into the Cloud and that is why we have moved in that direction. In the past, Asbestos survey reports were on paper and featured printed photographs. Since 2002 everything has moved online.

This is now standard if you are procuring an asbestos survey, especially if you have multiple sites, you should use an online database because access to your asbestos information makes it so much easier, you can access the system from your phone or laptop.

Even if you only have one site an electronic database is a no brainer. It can be used for communications and sharing information and make lives easier if you can give the information to a contractor easily.

Benefits of asbestos databases

With most databases you should be able to filter the information down to particular sites or even provide specific reports to those who need them.

For example, if you have lots of contractors on site, and they are accessing different parts of the site, you can give them details about specific areas. This helps you to manage the process of giving the information out and allowing people access to the system. It also allows you to track and time stamp what they have read so you can ensure they are using the information properly.

It is also easier to keep information stored electronically up to date whereas as soon as you print a report off, it’s essentially out of date.

Our system is literally to the second, as soon as it is uploaded, it is there for the client to see. For example, yesterday we did a reinspection and today it has been uploaded to the system. If we were sending reports out in the post, that information would be out of date the next day. Even before a report is issued, it can be seen as pending. The client can log on, see any changes and even see the data as its coming through so if you do want to get ahead of the game that is a possibility.

You can also run different reports. You can pull off spreadsheets in the format that you want. If you want to search for asbestos floor tiles, you can run off what’s just as asbestos and where are the no access areas, what’s not asbestos and you can use this to find information quickly and efficiently. You can also find out what has been removed over the years.

You can go back over time and see the history straight in front of you. You can even see down to the point of plans of work, historical information, risk assessments which you legally have to keep and this can all be stored in the database.

With a database you can extract information in different formats such as photos, images, excel spreadsheets or plans.

The best part is the mapping. There is a geo location and when you look at it on the map, it can pinpoint all your sites and you can zoom in and look at them. For some of our clients, such as service suppliers, that is so important as you can geo locate it to the exact location.

So, with our database the client can give access to whoever they want to and it has so much flexibility that they can add and remove whoever they like.

How much should you pay for a database?

Over the years, asbestos companies charge for data and it can add up. Without payment they may not hand over the client’s data or they take ownership of the data. We’ve seen people pay thousands of pounds per year to use their own information. That’s what the industry charges but we don’t charge that. We provide it free to our clients, if a client is using us for any element for asbestos works, we provide them with free access to the database. It costs us a lot of money but we are not looking to recoup that cost because that is part of the service we offer.

If you are paying for an asbestos database, I would question it as there are lots of other opportunities out there.

We’re a professional asbestos consultancy helping businesses deal with asbestos compliance using asbestos surveys, asbestos testing, and asbestos removal. Please call one of the team, or use the online form to obtain your free quotation. If you would like further information or advice on asbestos and asbestos training, contact the team on 0844 818 0895 or email mailto:info@acorn-as.com

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