Stage 1: Asbestos Register and Management Plan
If you manage or control a workplace, it’s your responsibility to ensure an asbestos register and management plan is prepared, maintained and kept at the workplace.
An asbestos register is a visual and non-intrusive method of investigation, whereby a competent person (e.g. a Quantity Surveyor) carries out a site inspection to determine the presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACM).
The asbestos register must:
- record any asbestos that has been identified or is assumed to be present at the workplace
- record the date when the asbestos was identified
- record the location, type and condition of the asbestos
- be maintained to ensure up-to-date information
- be given to the employer or business (or other person conducting a business or undertaking) when there is a change of management or controller of the workplace.
Archi-QS‘s asbestos registers are prepared in accordance with the code of practice How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace 2016. It is applicable to the owners of land or persons with some control over the land. A management plan is conveniently prepared to provide suitable control measures to manage the asbestos or ACM.
Stage 2: Request Samples
Assuming asbestos or ACM are identified within the workplace, it is recommended that samples are taken of the high-risk items and tested.
This stage is intrusive as it involves identifying the location of asbestos and any naturally occurring asbestos and taking samples to send to an accredited lab (National Association of Testing Authorities Australia).
The accredited lab will test, calibrate, measure and inspect the samples to provide a detailed report.
Stage 3: Remediation
Following positive same collection, the person in control of the workplace may choose to remove the asbestos. This requires the engagement of licensed removalists. Unless you’re removing less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos, you must be licensed to remove asbestos. If you are removing less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos it is still recommended that you engage a licensed removalist and undertake asbestos awareness training.
Asbestos is a prevalent problem in many Australian buildings. It is important that the right steps are taken to ensure the health and well-being of residents and society moving into the future.
As a part of Asbestos Awareness Month, Archi-QS are doing our part in educating our industry peers with the knowledge they need to identify and work safely with asbestos or asbestos-containing material. Safe Work Australia, 2019. ‘Asbestos’ < https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/asbestos >