EMS are pleased to announce, through wholly owned NG Associates, successful accreditation to ISO17025 for our in-house asbestos analysis laboratory based in Hereford. Following a successful visit from UKAS in March 2021, our accreditation to ISO17025 has now been confirmed and allows us to begin testing asbestos samples from our Hereford office.
The in-house laboratory facility is a new step in EMS’s journey and was helped by the European Regional Development Fund. EMS successfully applied and secured a grant of just over £22,000 through Herefordshire Council’s MBIG (Marches Building Investment Grant). This funding, secured in August 2020, allowed EMS to renovate and refurbish our new office space from an existing doctors’ surgery into a contemporary office space and laboratory.
The move into Hereford City Centre, not only provided a new office base for our team of 22 staff, but also allowed room for expansion, and space for the state-of -the art in-house asbestos testing laboratory facility. This is the only asbestos testing laboratory in Hereford. The addition of the Hereford asbestos laboratory is likely to create a two further new jobs.
Asbestos sample testing is the process of testing a sample of suspect asbestos containing materials (ACM) for asbestos material or fibres. This is done by trained asbestos analysts by using stereo microscopy, polarised light microscopy and dispersion staining. Asbestos sample testing is often required as part of an asbestos survey (bulk sampling). If analysts discover that a material contains asbestos, they will also identify the type of asbestos present within the sample.
EMS have seen a period of growth throughout 2020 and 2021 despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Adding Accreditation to ISO17025 for asbestos air testing and asbestos sample analysis, through the acquisition of NG Associates, will allow us to compete on larger public sector contracts and tender for a broader range of works. EMS have already been able to submit contract bids for a variety of public and private sector contracts throughout the early part of 2021, and recently won a place on the four-year Fusion 21 Building Safety & Compliance Framework for England.
The success of EMS has enabled us to offer opportunities for several young people to join our team. Starting this month a new asbestos bulk analyst has joined us in our Cardiff office and we have also successfully recruited a trainee surveyor through the Kickstart scheme, who has joined our Hereford team. We also hope to employ a receptionist in the coming weeks, again through the Kickstart scheme and are excited to be welcoming a new graduate geotechnical engineer to join our Geotech team in June.
In addition to recruiting new staff we have been investing in our existing team with over £10000 already invested in training in 2021; we have also committed similar funds into new equipment to open our Hereford asbestos laboratory.
We are excited about this new chapter in our journey and look forward to the opportunities we hope it will bring throughout the remainder of 2021 and looking towards future of EMS.