We Take A Look At The Queensland Asbestos Laws and Regulations
Learn About Asbestos Laws in Queensland
The Queensland government has a number of laws and regulations pertaining to asbestos installation, removal, cleaning and maintenance. There are laws affecting handling and removal of asbestos by home owners, renovators and owner builders.
If you intend to work with asbestos or remove materials that contain asbestos, there are a number of laws and regulations you must know and stick to.
The following are Queensland asbestos laws and regulations obtained from the Queensland Health and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland). You can learn more about asbestos from the Queensland Health website published by the Queensland Government here.
Although this article pertains to the entire state of Queensland we have published it for property owners in the South East Queensland areas including Brisbane city, Northside, Southside, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
For further information or to speak with a professional please phone: 07 3088 7727 to speak with a licensed professional.
Air Monitoring When Removing Asbestos
Air monitoring refers to sampling of airborne asbestos fibre to help in assessing the exposure and efficiency of control measures.
Air monitoring should be undertaken according to the Guidance note on the membrane filter method for estimating airborne asbestos fibres.
An individual who is competent to conduct this process during the removal of the asbestos should have the following;
- He or she should have experience and knowledge in the removal of asbestos
- He or she should have adequate knowledge on how to operate the monitoring equipment for example sampling pumps.
- Should be able to apply the most appropriate sampling strategy and put the sampling pumps in the right areas.
- The person should be able to effectively store and transport samples before the analysis.
Cleaning Asbestos Cement Roofs
Using water blasters to clean asbestos cement roofs is illegal. This legislation also covers Fibro roofs. Cleaning a fibro roof with a water blaster is against the law as the high pressure water machine can destroy the roof surface and cause the cement debris together with asbestos to spew into the air.
This can lead to wide spread contamination. Remember, it is not easy to contain asbestos fibres released into the air. The process of containing the asbestos fibres is very expensive. The airborne asbestos fibres put you, your family and neighbours’ health at risk.
Codes Of Practice Under Work Health & Safety Act 2011
A code of practice provides practical guidance for individuals who have WHS (work health and safety) responsibilities on how to achieve the required standards under the WHS regulations as well as effective ways to identify and manage risks.
However, it is important to point out that a person cannot be prosecuted for not complying with a code of practice.
Drilling Into Bonded Materials Containing Asbestos
Great care must be taken when drilling into bonded materials that contain asbestos. This is because asbestos fibres can easily be released into the atmosphere.
The following safety procedures must be followed when drilling into horizontal and vertical bonded surfaces;
- Use the right equipment; duct tape, hand drill, sealant, disposable plastic drop sheet and personal safety equipment.
- Adequately prepare the work area
- Tape the point to be drilled
- Cover the drill entry and exit points
- Clean up
- Dispose of the asbestos waste material at the appropriate waste facility
How To Handle Asbestos Safely After a Storm
Houses and workplaces built in before 1990 probably contain asbestos materials. However, this does not mean that it is easy for one to tell whether the materials contain asbestos simply by looking at them.
Therefore, it is important to protect yourself when removing the rubble especially when asbestos is present in the materials. Friable asbestos material is extremely dangerous and should only be removed by a licensed professional.
Identifying & Recording Asbestos In The Workplace
It is the legal responsibility for the owner of any workplace built that was built under an approval by a local government before January 1st 1990, to make sure that all asbestos containing materials at the workplace are identified, assessed and documented in a register for asbestos containing materials.
Where it is not possible to confirm the presence of asbestos, the workplace owner is allowed to presume that the material contains asbestos and must record that information in the asbestos containing material register.
Work Health & Safety Regulation 2011
This legislation prohibits anyone from carrying out or directing a worker from carrying out work involving asbestos unless in circumstances permitted under the regulation.
It imposes a responsibility on workplace owners to eliminate or reduce the exposure to asbestos in the air at the workplace.
The workplace owner has the responsibility to identify asbestos containing material, keep an asbestos register and have an asbestos management plan. The owner should have a plan prior to the removal or refurbishment of certain structures containing asbestos.
The owner should also train his or her workers on asbestos and to ensure that health monitoring and assessment is given to certain workers.
Removing Up To 10 Square Metres Of Asbestos Sheeting
Bonded materials containing asbestos are the most common asbestos materials in most South East Queensland homes.
When removing up to 10 square metres of asbestos, there are safety procedures that must be followed for example; you should have the right equipment for the job and for your personal safety, avoid working in windy conditions, do not break up the sheeting material, do not use power tools or angle grinders to cut the sheeting and do not throw the sheets to the ground.
Asbestos Flooring Regulation
Where asbestos backed vinyl flooring is to be installed or removed, only an A class certificate holder should remove or install the flooring. This is according to the workplace and health safety regulation of 2008.
Warning signs must be placed to alert people of the presence of asbestos containing materials at the workplace. Floor care treatment systems like using a sealant over which the finish coats are applied must be used on the asbestos.
Asbestos & Demolition Notifications
Section 466 of the WHSR (Work Health and Safety Regulation – Link) 2011 requires a licensed asbestos removal professional to give a notice to the WHSQ (Workplace Health and Safety Queensland) of licensed asbestos removal work five days before the removal work starts.
In case an emergency occurs at domestic premise or workplace where asbestos is to be fixed or removed, WHSQ must also be notified before the work begins.
To conclude, the Queensland asbestos laws and regulations are very clear on how to handle asbestos. It is important therefore to comply with the laws about how asbestos can be handled, transported, installed or removed at the workplace or at the residential home.
As a note for South East Queensland (and Brisbane) property owners, we highly recommend always using a qualified and professional asbestos removal company.
iAsbestos Removal Brisbane
Address: 6/18 Torbey Street, Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109
Phone: 07 3088 7727