If your house or property was built prior to 1990, have it assessed and tested for asbestos by a licensed asbestos assessor – this will allow you to know where asbestos is in your house or property – and just as importantly, where it is not!
Have the assessor establish an asbestos register – anyone working on your property will then know if it is safe and legal for them to work on a particular project, or whether a person with different qualifications will be needed to do the job safely and legally.
Use the results of this assessment to plan maintenance or replacement of areas that contain asbestos.
Plan your job to allow using the right people, with the correct qualifications, for the job.
Have a moral, and in some cases, a legal obligation to anyone who lives in, and/or enters or works in or on their home, to provide a safe environment.
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND RESPONSIBLE OFFICE BEARERS
School Administrators or Responsible Office Bearers have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that their School or Public Use Building has had a current and accurate assessment done for asbestos and an accurate asbestos register is kept. They must also have a plan in place to manage the asbestos and the risk it presents.
It is also their responsibility to ensure staff and/or volunteers are trained to deal with asbestos in an emergency situation and all workman who come on site are given a copy of the asbestos register and are qualified to work on, or in areas where asbestos is present.
COMMERCIAL, INVESTMENT & BODY CORPORATE PROPERTY OWNERS
As commercial and investment properties (including houses); and also homes, units and apartments owned and subject to body corporate legislation are considered workplaces, owners must have their property (singularly and/or as a whole) assessed and hold asbestos registers detailing what asbestos is where. Owners have a clear legal duty of care to any person working in or on, living in, or entering their property. This is covered by legislation in all Australia states and territories.
Have a legal ‘duty of care’ to ensure their workers have a safe work environment and are not subjected to harm. Penalties for failure to provide a safe work environment are high, and can include gaol terms.
Also have a duty of care to ensure their actions do not expose themselves, or others to risk or harm.
If renovating areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, en-suite, laundry or other areas that have asbestos containing material in them, consider engaging a licensed asbestos removalist to strip the entire area in question. Why you should use a licensed asbestos removalist, instead of doing it yourself or using a tradie:
There will be less risk your house will be contaminated with asbestos fibres/dust;
It may be illegal to DIY or for a non licensed tradie to do it;
A licensed asbestos removalist will be insured, whereas if you DIY or use a tradie such as a carpenter, plumber, electrician etc. more than likely there will be no insurance covering the asbestos removal, and any contamination that may occur;
Often there will be a considerable saving as trades you engage to supply and/or fit a new kitchen or bathroom will be able to quote without having to allow for the unknown asbestos factor;
A licensed removalist will also dispose of the stripped out material and appliances they have removed. This is extremely important as, if you are tempted to DIY disposal, again you more than likely wont be covered by any form of insurance should you have an accident and cause contamination or damage to property.
Ensure you ask the contractor to arrange an asbestos clearance certificate. The advantages in doing this include:
You will have peace of mind knowing the area is asbestos fibre/dust free;
You will have proof of the removal of the asbestos;
This record of safe removal should improve the value of property if you are selling; and
Could possibly mean lower insurance premiums.
Please read the Bernie Banton Foundation information pages:
ASSESS – RECORD – PLAN
DIY ASBESTOS IS DICING WITH DEATH
BE ASBESTOS AWARE 365
KNOW THE DANGERS
MANAGE THE RISK
For further information contact the Bernie Banton Foundation.
Note: The Bernie Banton Foundation is not accredited to provide advice.
The information provided is for assistance only.