If you own a non-residential building built before 31 December 2003 or make decisions about its management (for example, as property manager), you are affected by laws relating to the management of asbestos for non-residential premises. So, if you haven't already done so, follow the six steps below to learn more about your legal requirements to safely manage asbestos in your non-residential building. These requirements are set out in full in the Dangerous Substance (General) Regulation 2004.
Note: if, since 1 July 2006, you have already engaged an A class licensed asbestos assessor to undertake an identification and risk assessment of all asbestos on your premises and have obtained an asbestos management report, move to Step 3.
The first step to managing asbestos at your non-residential premises is to engage an A class licensed asbestos assessor to identify all asbestos in and around your premises, as far as practicable. This process will most often involve taking samples to confirm any suspected asbestos.
The next step is for a risk assessment to be carried out for all identified or presumed asbestos.
A person owns or is in control of non-residential premises must have an asbestos management plan for the premises. The asbestos management report you obtain from a licensed assessor will assist you in developing and putting into action your written asbestos management plan.
A person who owns or is in control of a non-residential premises must have an asbestos register for the premises. The asbestos register you prepare essentially serves as a public document to help inform all relevant people of any asbestos at your premises. Therefore, it is important that the information contained in the register is kept up-to-date.
The table below outlines what your asbestos register must cover. A lot of the information required for an asbestos register should be contained in your asbestos assessment report (that was prepared by your licensed asbestos assessor).
The control measures established must prevent exposure to airborne asbestos fibres and should take into account risk assessment and recommended treatment options. The measures will also take into account other legislative requirements and organisational issues, such as budgetary constraints, impact on persons or business, priorities and scheduling.
High priority should be given to practical removal of asbestos during any renovations, refurbishments and/or maintenance.
It is important that during each step of the development of your asbestos management plan, there is full consultation, involvement and information sharing with employers, workers, contractors and others at the premises. The word 'asbestos' can often create the effect of undue concern or panic in the community if proactive informative processes are not in place. The asbestos register you prepare should be made readily available accessible to all relevant people to inform them of any asbestos at your premises.
All workers and contractors must also have the appropriate asbestos training associated with their role. Contact your local Registered Training Organisations to find out about asbestos training courses for:
The system you put in place for controlling maintenance work is integral to preventing any work activity that might expose workers or others nearby to airborne asbestos fibres. All asbestos work must be carried out by appropriately qualified persons whether it is tradespeople, removalists and asbestos assessors and in accordance with the relevant Codes of Practice that have been adopted under ACT legislation.
In addition to the situations mentioned above, your asbestos management plan must also be reviewed no less than once every 5 years.
In addition to the situations mentioned above, the asbestos register must also be reviewed no less than once every 5 years.
In addition to the situations mentioned above, the risk assessment register must also be reviewed no less than once every 5 years. A review of a risk assessment need not include more than a visual inspection of the asbestos product if the inspection is, in the opinion of the licensed asbestos assessor, sufficient to adequately assess the risk.
Penalties apply for non-compliance with these laws.
Click here for information on how to safely work with asbestos.
Click here for information on how to safely remove asbestos.
Click here for information on how to safely dispose of asbestos.