New Legislation Takes Aim At Asbestos

With changes to The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 coming into effect in a matter of days (4th April 2018), commercial tenants, landlords and other PCBU’s (person conducting a business or undertaking) that are impacted should be putting the finishing touches on
their Asbestos Management Plans.

According to Worksafe, asbestos is the leading workplace hazard with as many as 170 people dying each year from past asbestos exposure. While these new regulations might seem tricky to complete or even unnecessary, this number certainly validates their necessity.

A primary aim of the tightened regulations is to ensure those who work, or are exposed to anmenvironment that does contain asbestos, or asbestos contaminated material (ACM) are made aware of this, and that protocols and preparations are put in place to minimise exposure and risk to these individuals, along with a plan should exposure occur.

To prevent undue exposure and risk of asbestos, buildings built prior to 2000 are required to have an asbestos survey conducted of their premises. If asbestos or ACM is located, an Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) is required. Providing the ACM is being managed appropriately, removal works may not be necessary.

Much of the confusion surrounding the new regulations is the distinction between an asbestos identification survey, and an AMP that needs to be undertaken should asbestos be present.

AMP’s should detail the identification process, locations and positions of the ACM, and actions and decisions to minimise or remove the contaminated material. As well as this, emergency procedure plans and health monitoring are required should exposure occur, along with reviews and updates as changes are made, or every five years at a minimum.

This is a significant change to workplace health and safety regulations and navigating the process can be challenging. Ensuring all entities are compliant can be time consuming and laborious. Unfortunately, there is no understating the importance of this. At Viranda we can assist in sourcing surveys, completing AMP’s and general management of the entire process to ensure compliance. Most importantly, we can ensure the safety of all tenants, employees, contractors and others that could otherwise be at possible risk.

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