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What is involved in managing an Asbestos risk?

Managing the risks associated with asbestos involves:

  • Identifying asbestos and ACM at the workplace and recording this in the asbestos register 
and producing a management plan
  • Assessing the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos
  • Eliminating or minimising the risks by implementing control measures
  • Reviewing control measures to ensure they are effective

When choosing the most appropriate control measure, the following Hierarchy of Controls must be considered:

  • Eliminating the risk (for example, removing the asbestos)
  • Substituting the risk, isolating the risk or applying engineering controls (for example, 
enclosing, encapsulation, sealing or using certain tools)
  • Using administrative controls (for example, safe work practices)
  • Using PPE.

A combination of these controls may be required in order to adequately manage and control asbestos or ACM, with the ultimate goal of having an asbestos free environment.

“The Code of Practice 2011 – How to Manage Asbestos in the Workplace states:

Asbestos Register

  • Must ensure an asbestos register is prepared, maintained, reviewed and kept at the workplace. It must be readily available to workers, their health and safety representatives and other persons
  • Must ensure, when management or control of the workplace is relinquished, a copy of the asbestos register is given to the person assuming management or control.

Asbestos Management Plan 

  • Must, where asbestos has been identified at the workplace, ensure an asbestos management plan is prepared, maintained and reviewed. It must be accessible to workers, their health and safety representatives and other persons.”