Asbestos management in the workplace
What do I need to do when working with asbestos in the workplace?
The removal of less than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos containing material (ACM), or ACD associated with that work, does not require any asbestos removal control plan. However a safe work management plan is required and must be documented.
Asbestos related work means work involving asbestos, other than asbestos removal for example drilling into ACM. Asbestos related work that is also high risk construction work, for example, disturbance of asbestos requires a documented safe work method statement.
Asbestos management plan
Where asbestos has been identified at the workplace an asbestos management plan must be prepared, maintained and reviewed. It must be accessible to workers, their health and safety representatives and other persons.
An asbestos management plan sets out how asbestos or ACM that is identified at the workplace will be managed, for example, what, when and how it is going to be done.
An asbestos management plan must include:
- the identification of asbestos and ACM, for example a reference or link to the asbestos register for the workplace, and the locations of signs and labels
- decisions, and reasons for the decisions, about the management of asbestos at the workplace, for example, safe work procedures and control measures
- procedures for detailing accidents, incidents or emergencies of asbestos at the workplace
- workers carrying out work involving asbestos, for example, consultation, information and training responsibilities.
Other information that may be included in the asbestos management plan are:
- an outline of how asbestos risks will be controlled, including consideration of appropriate control measures
- a timetable for managing risks of exposure, for example, priorities and dates for any reviews, circumstances and activities that could affect the timing of action
- identification of each person with responsibilities under the asbestos management plan and the person’s responsibilities
- procedures, including a timetable for reviewing and, if necessary, revising the asbestos management plan and asbestos register
- air monitoring procedures at the workplace, if required.
The person with management or control of the workplace must ensure the asbestos management plan is reviewed and, if necessary, revised at least once every five years or when:
- there is a review of the asbestos register or a control measure
- asbestos is removed from or disturbed, sealed or enclosed at the workplace
- the plan is no longer adequate for managing asbestos or ACM at the workplace
- a health and safety representative requests a review if they reasonably believe that any of the matters listed in the above points affects or may affect the health and safety of a member of their work group and the asbestos management plan was not adequately reviewed.
A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure that a register (an asbestos register) is prepared and kept at the workplace, if the building was constructed before 2003. The person must ensure that the asbestos register is maintained to ensure the information in the register is up-to-date. The register should be reviewed and as necessary revised if further asbestos is identified.
The asbestos register has to be readily accessible to workers, health and safety representatives and other persons.