From education to employment

Chesterfield College is first to adopt new concept in asbestos safety labelling

Lucion Environmental’s new quick response (QR) code-based system

A leading further education college has become the first in the country to utilise a specialist new labelling system for the fast and convenient identification of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in its buildings as part of their robust asbestos management strategy.

Chesterfield College has adopted Lucion Environmental’s new quick response (QR) code-based system to ensure that full details of the presence of any asbestos in a particular location is made immediately available to whoever may need it.

The college supports the learning needs of over 10,000 students and apprentices, with both classroom and work-based training provided from a range of buildings and premises located across Chesterfield and further afield.

Lucion is the college’s established provider of specialist asbestos consultancy and support services, helping the internal safety, health and environment team comply with its asbestos management responsibilities.

As part of this role, Lucion recently completed a first phase survey of parts of the organisation’s property portfolio, utilising the special QR code labels in those situations where ACMs are present.

When scanned into a mobile phone, the QR code provides direct on-site access to the building’s ‘Nexgen’ digital site survey records. This online system provides full details of the condition of any ACMs present, as well as any access restrictions and other safeguards required by anyone who may need to carry out work in the vicinity.

Daniel Wainwright, Safety, Health and Environment Officer for Chesterfield College, said:

“We take our health and safety responsibilities very seriously and regard the use of QR codes in this way as a highly innovative and effective means of helping to ensure the safety of our staff, students and anyone working in or visiting our premises.

“We have established a very thorough working relationship with Lucion. With their input we have further developed our asbestos management practice which has allowed us to establish a more robust system which significantly minimises the risks to anyone carrying out building and maintenance work across our properties. 

“In introducing the college to this new system, the professionalism and levels of support shown by the Lucion staff in Sheffield has been outstanding.” 

As part of the surveying work carried out at the College, Lucion created bespoke and hardwearing A5 QR code stickers incorporating the appropriate building and location names. 

Connection to the Nexgen asbestos information portal via the QR label is password protected enabling access to the secure information to be fully controlled and restricted to authorised personnel only. The digital system also enables any subsequent updates from re-inspections or pre-refurbishment surveys to be easily added so that the building records are always up to date.

Patrick Morton, managing director of Lucion, explains:

“Because the labels are applied as surveys are undertaken, there are significant time and cost savings associated with their use. There is no need to make repeat visits to sites to re-apply labels or information notices and their hardwearing versatility also means they can also be applied on outdoor structures.

“Making this information directly accessible to contractors, tradesmen and buildings maintenance personnel at the critical control point where building works are intended will significantly reduce the risk of any damage or disturbance at those areas.”

The use of Lucion QR code to link to an online database is designed as a modern, fast and effective solution to ensure that asbestos registers are made available in premises at all times, overcoming the limitations associated with the traditional use of paper-based systems.

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