You suspected it, you took a sample, and unfortunately, it's true. You have asbestos. This can feel like tragic news when you're trying to develop a plot of land, but fortunately, with the right elements in place, you can get rid of the asbestos-ridden soil relatively quickly. Here's what you need.
1. Risk Management Assessment
Ideally, you should never start asbestos soil removal on your own. Rather, you should consult with an asbesto removal specialist, and even they shouldn't just start hauling out the soil. Rather, they should always start with a risk management assessment. That allows you to get a sense of the risks in the area so that you can identify a safe path for removal.
Before the asbestos removal team starts working, they should put up signs. In fact, you may want to label the area as having asbestos even before the pros come in. Asbestos is extremely dangerous, and if anyone comes to your land and breathes in the asbestos fibres, they may try to hold you liable for any injuries or health issues that arise from the exposure.
3. Personal Protective Gear
The team doing the asbestos soil removal should all have personal protective gear, but you may want to invest in some extra protection for yourself and any of your employees that may be in the area. Ideally, you should have full body coverings that include pants and long sleeves. You should also have a respirator so that you can't inhale any of the fibres.
As the removal specialists start working, make sure they use water. If they're not using water, you may want to ask them why not or what other actions they're taking to mitigate this risk. Note that the main risk with asbestos is inhaling the tiny fibres, which irritate your lungs and potential lead to mesothelioma (a very serious form of lung cancer).
Shoveling out soil tends to disrupt these fibres. To stop that, it helps to spray the soil with water. Generally, one person is in the excavator, whilst another person is on the ground handling the spraying.
5. Occupational Hygienist
Once you think all the asbestos is gone, you need to double check. An occupational hygienist can come to your site, check the asbestos level, and make sure the area is safe for development. Then, they can issue a clearance certificate. If you skip this step, you may be in risk of breaching the law.
To ensure the work is handled safely, make sure that you hire a professional team of asbestos soil removal specialists who understand the safety concerns and the law.