Asbestos inspection is mandatory within Work, Health and Safety regulations
Posted by juliabennet on April 26th, 2014
Like many other developed and developing country Australia has a stringent set of WHS or Work, Health and Safety laws. The agency has specific set of laws for every component: chemicals, agriculture, construction, mining, stevedoring, road freight transport, nanotechnology and of course asbestos inspection. It is regulated by states and territories and outlined framework for the management of asbestos in workplaces. Other than asbestos inspections it also takes up training of workers who are at risk of encountering asbestos at their workplace, making people aware of naturally occurring asbestos, removal of asbestos from sites, and licensing asbestos removalists and authenticating their competency for the job.
The model code of practice for managing and controlling asbestos and asbestos containing material or ACM in workplaces has been in place since 2011. Persons who are considered to be competent in the asbestos inspections and identification include occupational hygienists who have knowledge with asbestos, licensed assessors for asbestos, supervisors for asbestos removal and a person working for an organisation accredited by for various operation of performing asbestos inspection for surveying. The factors they consider for identifying the sites that may contain asbestos are the age of the building, if any refurbishment was done after the construction of the building, what type of material was used for its construction and referring to the design plan and talk to the designers, suppliers, manufacturers etc.
Talking to workers who had worked in the site for a long time is also important as they can help the asbestos inspection experts in identifying the places where there can be traces of asbestos. As you will be surprised to know that in our normal home there are over twenty-two places where asbestos could have been used, for a big building with complicated designs the number can be much more. Asbestos inspections knowledge from similar type of building can guide the experts to identify the probable places of asbestos. Visual inspect for them and ACM in inaccessible areas of the building is difficult and are entirely done with the help of previous experience, feedback from related persons like designers, workers or suppliers.
Asbestos-related works activities including asbestos inspection and maintenance should be carried out periodically. Unusual and infrequent activities like emergency asbestos inspections can also be required in some special case. Asbestos or ACM exposures for the workers are also to be considered while inspecting the site so that the fibres do not become airborne tocause health hazards.
Visual asbestos inspections are to be carried out only by experts. Although there are numerous online resources that would suggest you DIY steps for identification and asbestos inspection it would be rather irresponsible to play with the safety of your employees or family members. These experts are authorised by the government agencies to do the work and therefore capable of finding traces of asbestos from even inaccessible corners of the building. They also use the required safety measures for keeping themselves as well as the residents of the property safe till the time the place has not been cleaned of asbestos.
Asbestos inspection is a highly technical job and you should appoint only the skilled asbestos inspections experts to do it.