An asbestos removal operative is responsible for the safe monitoring, removal and disposal of asbestos from renovation and demolition sites.
The pathway into this career is relatively straightforward. Most operatives are nominated by their employer to undergo specific training for the removal of asbestos. However, the training must be compliant with current HSE guidelines. In most cases, working with asbestos also requires a licence, and that will always be issued by the HSE. Asbestos removal staff are primarily demolition or construction workers who have specialist training in removing the potentially harmful material.
Employment in this field is reliant not only on specialist training and certification, however. Candidates must be prepared to work with hazardous materials that have the potential to cause serious harm. In many cases, recruitment agencies are filling temporary vacancies for building contractors and major, national construction firms on a temporary basis. For self-employed, short-term contracts, candidates will often be required to supply their own personal protective equipment(PPE).
As Britain continues a major programme of house-building, opportunities for asbestos removal operatives will continue to be relatively plentiful. The considerable physical and emotional demands of the role mean that it is not a particularly popular career choice, so applicants with the right experience stand a good chance of success. A full-time asbestos removal operative can expect to receive a salary of between £17,000 and £23,000 with a construction or demolition specialist. However, many vacancies with recruitment agencies are offered on a short-term basis.