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The Workplace Health and Safety Regulation and the associated Codes of Practice which detail how the Regulation should be implemented have all been entirely re-written and new Codes of Practice created where necessary as part of the harmonisation of WH & S law across Australia.
Under Workplace Health and Safety Regulation (2011) which came into force on January 1st 2012 if you are the “person in control of a business or undertaking (PCBU)” you are responsible to find out if your building contains asbestos if it was built before 2004 ( or 1990 in Qld as of May 2014).
If the above applies then – you are required to follow all the steps as described in the Workplace Health & Safety Regulation – Asbestos and the State Government WH&S website at www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/
|Roll of asbestos backed vinyl||Asbestos based resin electrical backing board|
This change has occurred because asbestos was still able to be legally imported into Australia until December 2003. Most building products coming into or being made in Australia were by this time asbestos free however machinery constructed up to this time may have used asbestos components such as gaskets, seals, brake or clutch linings.
Summarising this you are required to:
- Take steps to find out if there is any asbestos containing materials for a workplace built prior to 2004 - in Queensland as of May 2014 this has now reverted back to 1990.
- Keep an Asbestos Containing Materials Register on the premises for the building.
- Have Risk Assessments done on all asbestos containing materials found.
- Create and have in place an Asbestos Management Plan.
- Review and update this plan and register at least every 5 years if asbestos containing materials are found or earlier if renovation or demolition is to be carried out or if a risk assessment indicates otherwise..
- Display at an appropriate place a notice that there is an Asbestos Materials Register and label all Asbestos Containing Materials, if reasonably practicable.
- Notify the Regulator 5 days prior to any asbestos removal work.
- Provide training for workers, contractors and others who come in contact with Asbestos containing materials.
- Stop asbestos removal works and notify the Regulator if levels exceed 0.02 fibres/ml of air.
- For all licenced removal works, ensure clearance inspections which may include airborne dust monitoring are conducted by licensed asbestos removal assessors who are independent to the removal process, before a work area is re-occupied.