Asbestos Registers for Workplaces
A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure asbestos at the workplace is identified by a competent person, the location of asbestos is clearly indicated and recorded in a register and have a written asbestos management plan if asbestos has been identified at the workplace (or is likely to be there at times).
An asbestos register is not required if the building was constructed after 31 December 1989 and no asbestos has been identified at the workplace and asbestos is not likely to be present (i.e. No machinery or plant installed prior to 2004). The asbestos register must be maintained so the information in the register is up to date and be readily accessible. The requirement to ensure asbestos or ACM at the workplace is identified by a competent person does not apply:
• To naturally occurring asbestos(e.g. asbestos in mining or quarrying)
• If the duty holder assumes asbestos or ACM is present
• If the duty holder has reasonable grounds to believe that asbestos or ACM is not present.
If asbestos or ACM is assumed to be present at a workplace, it is taken to be identified at the workplace.
If there is not a competent person within the organisation an external competent person should be engaged.
Register of asbestos or ACM at a workplace
A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure an asbestos register is prepared and kept at the workplace. The asbestos register must record any asbestos or ACM identified at the workplace or likely to be present from time to time.
An asbestos register is not required if:
• The workplace is a building that was constructed after 31 December 1989, and
• No asbestos has been identified at the workplace, and
• No asbestos is likely to be present from time to time.
It is important to note that even if no asbestos is identified, or is determined not to be present based on reasonable grounds, the register must state that no asbestos or ACM is identified or present at the workplace.
Asbestos register access and review
The register must be kept up to date and be readily accessible to workers and others at the workplace. The register must be reviewed at least once every five years or earlier if:
• The asbestos or ACM has been disturbed, removed, sealed or enclosed
• Further asbestos or ACM is identified a the workplace
• The asbestos management plan for the workplace is reviewed.
• The risk Assessment in the Management Plan recommends it.
Transfer of asbestos register
If a person with management or control of a workplace intends to relinquish management or control, they must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a copy of the asbestos register is given to the person (if any) assuming management or control of the workplace.
Asbestos Registers and bodies corporate
Unless a strata title body corporate for a residential unit/townhouse complex engages a worker as an employee (employee being the key term) they are not a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’, and therefore the asbestos register requirement under the WHS Regulation 2011 does not apply.
Analysing asbestos samples
Samples of material suspected of containing asbestos must be analysed by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) laboratory
Warning signs and labels
A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure that the presence and location of asbestos or ACM is clearly indicated, and where it is reasonably practicable to do so, by using labels.
Demolition and refurbishment
A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure the asbestos register is reviewed and revised if it is not adequate before demolition or refurbishment of:
• A building constructed before 31 December 1989
• A non-building structure constructed or installed before 31 December 2003 if there are reasonable grounds to believe asbestos is installed in the structure
• Plant constructed or installed before 31 December 2003 if there are reasonable grounds to believe asbestos is installed in the plant.
A copy of the register must be given to the business that will be carrying out the demolition or refurbishment before the work starts.
The business carrying out demolition or refurbishment at a workplace must obtain a copy of the register before demolition or refurbishment work starts. If there is no register for the structure or plant, the business carrying out the demolition or refurbishment must not start the work until the structure or plant has been inspected to determine whether asbestos or ACM is present.
Removal of asbestos or ACM at a workplace
For any asbestos removal carried out a workplace which is not a domestic premises, the asbestos removalist must obtain a copy of the asbestos register before the removal work is carried out.