Legislation

The Work Healthy and Safety Act 2011 and Code of Practice,  How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace 2011 requires employers, landlords etc, to provide a safe place of work for their staff, visitors or tenants. In order for compliance with the requirement, risks and hazards that exist in the workplace/building must be assessed and all methods to reduce the risk of harm to its lowest practical level must be applied.
Organisations in Australia must comply with stringent new safety regulations where Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is present in buildings. New asbestos risk management requirements in Australia place important legal obligations on any business that owns buildings or sites with Asbestos Containing Material.

The National Work Health and Safety Act 2011 requires Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)on the premises of structures or parts of structures that are workplaces (if all or part of the structure was built under an approval given by a local government before 31 December 2003), to comply with the Safe Work Australia (SWA) Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC: 2018(2005)].

This requires owners to:

  • Conduct an audit of the workplace for ACM
  • Prepare a register of ACM
  • Where any ACM are identified, prepare and implement an asbestos management plan (AMP).

What must you do if asbestos is identified in your building

If asbestos is identified in your building or workplace the PCBU (or owners representative) of the building is required to document and implement an asbestos management plan in accordance with the national code of practice.
The plan must include items such as:

  • A register of asbestos-containing materials at the workplace including risk assessments.
  • Details of maintenance and service work undertaken on asbestos-containing materials.
  • Mechanisms for communicating the location and type of asbestos-containing materials to employees and others who may come into contact with asbestos-containing materials.
  • Any decisions regarding the abatement actions taken.
  • An action plan (including timeframes) for the abatement works.
  • Airborne monitoring arrangements.
  • Responsibilities and accountabilities of key staff in the implementation of the plan.
  • Procedure for reviewing and updating the plan.

For further information please refer to the following http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/

  • Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995;
  • Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2008;
  • Safe Work Australia Code of Practise for the Management and control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC: 2018(2005)];
  • Safe Work Australia Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos 2005 [NOHSC:2002(2005)]; and
  • Safe Work Australia Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Fibres 2nd Edition [NOHSC: 3003(2005)].
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