Merryhill Re-accredited by CHAS

CHAS Certificate

Merryhill has shown once again our commitment to H&S by having our CHAS accreditation renewed for a further year.

Being a member of ARCA, Merryhill gain our CHAS accreditation based on past audit data and general competence. This year saw a change to the usual process, with additional evidence required to support our renewal.

In previous years, our CHAS certificate had been renewed purely on the basis of feedback from ARCA site audits. The revised renewal process is now far more robust, requiring much more input from the contractor which we believe is a good thing.

Merryhill hold a number of accreditations which we believe underpins our knowledge, competence and experience as a licensed asbestos removal contractor. We hope the certifications provide peace of mind to our valued clients that we conduct our work in a professional and more importantly safe manner.

ARCA A-Grade Audit


At Merryhill, we pride ourselves on the way we plan projects and carry out asbestos removal whilst on-site.

In a recent audit by ARCA as part of the Site Audit Accreditation Scheme, Merryhill received an A-Grade with no non-conformances or recommendations whatsoever.

Our commitment to quality and health & safety best practice ensures that all projects, no matter how small are meticulously planned. This increased effort at the planning stage ensures that our site teams are well briefed and understand the expectations for each project BEFORE they arrive on-site.

We are in constant contact with our site-teams and encourage open communication. In doing so, any changes to the original plan can be discussed openly.

ARCA Site Audit Accreditation Scheme

We are very proud of our asbestos supervisors and operatives. By having a great team, we are able to work together more closely and for the better. We look forward to receiving more A-Grade audits in the future.

Huge Fly-tip Site Cleared

Huge fly tip waste site

Merryhill offer a comprehensive fly-tip clearance service. With the ability to remove significant amounts of waste and carry out the necessary segregation, we are often called by councils and landlords to assist with hazardous rubbish clearance.

One particular fly-tip project carried out this quarter was on a completely different level. Imagine an amount of waste so large it could be seen from space!

The site in the West of England had been a fly-tipping hot spot for a number of years. The patch of disused land was quickly becoming an eyesore for local tenants using the adjacent land.

Over 400 tonnes of waste removed from site, including asbestos cement sheeting.

Fly tip waste

Waste Segregation

In addition to the asbestos cement, the waste was segregated into the following waste streams:

  • Hazardous waste
  • COSHH, including paint and oil
  • Mixed demolition & demolition waste
  • Compostable waste
  • Clean wood
  • Contaminated railway sleepers
  • WEEE waste
  • Car tyres / wheels
Hazardous waste segregation

Project Management

Merryhill managed the whole project, using our own personnel to dispose of the asbestos waste. Given the scale of the task, Merryhill utilised the support of a local plant hire company to supply and drive a wheeled backhoe excavator. The machine was used to lift some of the heavy items and navigate the site which was primarily off-road.

Once the entire site was cleared, Merryhill also organised for the road to be blocked using concrete barriers. In addition to the barriers, the entrance to the site was also trenched to prevent unauthorised vehicles to access the site.

The project showcased Merryhill’s ability to work not only with asbestos and hazardous materials, but also other waste streams. This particular project was completed within the available timescale set by the client.

Site Teams Receive Electrical Isolation Training

Electrical Isolation Training

Earlier this month, some of our site teams received additional training in the safe isolation of electrical circuits.

Merryhill are on a number of social housing contracts and often work near live electrical installations. This is primarily when we are asked to remove or make safe, asbestos containing textured coated ceilings.

Given the volume of work on such contracts, it is often the case that Merryhill site teams rely on other contractors to isolate / make safe any installations affected by our works.

By having our own site teams trained to carry out such isolations it means we are able to provide a better service for our clients, whilst ensuring the safety of our operatives.

We are often asked how we can provide the best possible value for money on such contracts and this is one of many ways Merryhill is able to assist. By not having to send 2 teams to the same property, social landlords can save time, money and improve their carbon footprint due to reduced trips often made by car / van.

Merryhill is committed to providing the most up-to-date and relevant training for our site teams. This course, along with many others form part of our ongoing improvement plan to increase the skill set of our employees. We believe that skilled and competent employees are not only beneficial to us as an employer, but also helps to make staff feel appreciated and valued.

Merryhill Personnel Given Mental Health First Aid Training

Merryhill Gets Mental Health First Aid Training

Earlier this month, 2 members of the Merryhill team were given mental health first aid training. The 2-day course, delivered by St John Ambulance was organised to help raise awareness amongst all staff members about the importance of mental health and to promote best-practice across the whole organisation.

The course is designed to give people the skills to have a non-judgmental conversation, recognise the signs and symptoms of common workplace mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support.

Mental Health Statistics

The statistics surrounding mental health are worrying and anything we can do as an organisation to improve the situation we believe can only be of benefit.

  • 1 out of 6.8 people will experience mental health issues in the workplace
  • 1 in 3 people will suffer from depression in their lives
  • According to the National Building Specification, mental health issues account for people taking almost 70 million days off sick per year – the most of any health condition – costing the UK economy between £70Bn and £100Bn a year.
  • Every year over 400 construction workers commit suicide

Course Feedback

Commenting after the course, Bryan Dart, Operations Manager said:

The 2-day mental health first aid course was a very worthwhile experience and a real eye-opener. Working in a high-hazard environment means we primarily focus on physical health issues and ensuring the safety of our staff, fellow site workers and members of the public.

Our aim is to be a more supportive employer. By giving our teams the facts about mental health and the practical skills to support wellbeing, we are working towards building a healthier and more productive workplace.

Such was the success of the course and feedback received, Merryhill has also decided to boost our awareness of mental health by ensuring all of our asbestos supervisors are trained as mental health champions.

This 1-day course is designed for people to gain a greater awareness of workplace mental health, to detect early symptoms of common mental health illnesses and the skills to support their own and others’ positive wellbeing.

Further improvements to Auditing Site Performance

Since the launch of our new electronic audits earlier this year, Merryhill has consulted all those involved to further improve the way we carry out site inspections.

Despite our previous audits being very detailed, there was a lack of focus on core asbestos-related functions. Also, over time, the audit process had burgeoned into something that had become difficult to manage and the data captured, increasingly challenging to interpret.

After a greater emphasis on collaboration between site teams and those members of staff allocated as competent auditors, the decision was made to massively simplify the process.

The exercise involved looking at all our previous inspections over the past 3 years and really focussing on those areas where any weaknesses had been found. In doing so, our revised audits have become a less tedious task and deliver a much-increased value to our business.

Sometimes, taking a step back and involving others in the process, can result in an improved outcome. With an improved focus on licensed projects, in addition to NNLW and non-licensed works, our improved site inspection procedures are not only much more relevant, but much simpler to complete.

Taking guidance from ARCA and our external H&S consultant, we believe our improved auditing process will have a knock-on effect in enhancing general site performance.

Collaboration was the key to success in this instance. This project highlighted the importance of working together with site teams to greatly improve a particular process. The discussion has subsequently had an impact on other areas of our business which will be addressed over the coming months.

H&S Auditing Improvements

Asbestos Site Auditing

Merryhill is always looking to improve our operational effectiveness and our in-house auditing plays a big part in ensuring best-practices are adhered to at all times.

In addition to independent audits carried out on a monthly basis, our own managers audit sites regularly. The site auditing process covers all matters relating to health and safety, not just those directly concerning asbestos removal.

Traditionally this had been done in a paper format and all records filed centrally. Whilst the system proved effective, the data that could be extrapolated was cumbersome and time-consuming.

Merryhill has recently switched to a completely electronic system. Utilising tablet technology which was already being used by our site teams, our own managers can now visit and audit a project using their device. By inputting comments directly into an electronic form, these can be emailed once completed and any data extracted.

As part of our ongoing improvement measures, the data captured from site audits can be used to spot trends and any potential weaknesses. By doing this electronically, trends can be spotted much more quickly and dealt with efficiently.

Improving our working practices, whether this be through paperwork or site procedures is of huge value. Better analysis means we can be more effective. By spotting where things can be improved more quickly, this enables us to deal with issues through toolbox talks and formal training if required to ultimately enhance the service we deliver to our customers.

For more information about our auditing procedures and the new electronic system, please contact us to discuss and queries you may have.