Specialist, technical knowledge and a genuine ambition to improce standards across the industry are at the heart of G&L Consultancy. The company recently invested £400,000 in a new state- of-the-art premises near Banbridge, Co. Down and is responsible for employing over 40 people in the local area. Clearly, business is good at the family-run business but it’s not about making a quick buck, says Alan Lewis, Deputy Technical Director at G&L Consultancy.
“Our company ethos is centred around trying to do the right thing. Setting out in 1998, our aim was to make the G&L brand the byword for quality and professionalism within the industry and I think we’ve achieved that. There’s quite a varying standard of workmanship across the industry and we’re working to raise those standards.”
After keeping an eye out for a suitable premises for quite a few years, Alan found what he was looking for. “The new two storey premises ticks all the boxes in terms of office space, parking facilities and laboratory space. We’ve grown significantly over the past few years, we now employ 41 members of staff so the new premises was certainly needed.”
Asbestos might be a finite material but there’s still plenty of work out there for a firm with as much expertise and experience as G&L Consultancy. “I’ve been here for 20 years now, it’s quite a scientific industry. Millions of tonnes of asbestos was imported in the 1960s and 1970 and when I started this job back in 2000 I wondered, is this a viable career? In 15 years there will be nothing left. But that is definitely not the case, there’s so much of it out there.”
Alan and the team operate across the island of Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, offering all asbestos-related services including surveying, air monitoring, bulk sample analysis, training and full management plans. A team of highly trained, experienced asbestos surveyors carry out management, refurbishment or demolition surveys while a dedicated training department offers a range of courses including basic asbestos awareness, task manual training, operatives training and all P400 courses.
“We’ve managed to build a solid reputation to become one of the largest specialist asbestos management companies in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We get a lot of repeat business and I think that’s testament to our standing in the industry.”
Diversification is important at G&L Consultancy.
“We’re always looking to move into new markets and increase our client base. That’s why we’re moving into asbestos removals.”
The company is primed to move into non-licensed asbestos removal, a sector that doesn’t deal with the serious, nasty asbestos but removes low grade, low friable material.
“We’re offering a ‘by the book’ removal service, adhering to the guidance that the HSE gives. In Northern Ireland alone, I’ve surveyed thousands of roof spaces and the amount of asbestos debris is incredible. I’ve been saying to contractors for years, you guys should be setting up a division of your business to carry out removals of non-licensed asbestos work properly. In the end I thought sod it, I’m doing it.”
Ensuring this work is carried out properly is Alan’s main priority. “I’ve carried out surveys on buildings where I’ve been told only two asbestos materials are present; I end up finding upwards of 20 or 30 dangerous products. It’s important that this work is tackled properly.”
Further, exciting plans are also in the works at G&L Consultancy, set to kick off next year.
“We’re going to start doing analysis of soils for finely dispersed fibres. What’s happening nowadays is that lots of brownfield sites are being dug up. Old asbestos is being found in soils. There’s a separate asbestos accreditation for analysing samples for finely dispersed fibres and we’re lucky in that we already have a lab where we can analyse samples. I’m hoping that this new branch of the company will also allow us to go on site and do training, carry out face fitting for masks and give clients a strategy for dealing with asbestos efficiently.”
It looks like the future is bright at G&L Consultancy.