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Licensing FAQs

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Under the new regulations, an Asbestos Assessor must be ‘independent’. What does ‘independent’ mean in this context under the Regulations?

The requirement in the regulations is intended to ensure there is no potential for a conflict of interest when carrying out air monitoring or clearance for licensed asbestos removal work.

For example, there is a conflict of interest where the assessor is an employee of the same company or business group that commissioned or conducts the removal.

Or, there could be a potential conflict of interest where an asbestos assessor is contracted to provide other types of services to the business doing the removal work (ie. the assessor has another type of business relationship with the removal business).



When are asbestos removal licences available?

You can apply for an asbestos removal licence from WorkSafe.



Do I need a licence for maintenance work like patching an asbestos roof?

Maintenance or servicing work involving asbestos is allowed under the new regulations, and will usually not require a licence. This work must still be done safely and in accordance with the regulatory requirements for asbestos related work.

If the maintenance or servicing work involves the removal of more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos, or any amount of friable asbestos, the work must be carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist.



How do I measure 10m2 of asbestos-containing material if it’s not flat?

Measuring non-flat surfaces requires a bit of maths. Here’s the calculation you’ll need to use.



How does the six month grace period work?

The six month grace period is only applicable to Class B removal licence applications.

Businesses who have applied for a Class B licence can continue doing asbestos removal work up until 4 October 2016 while their licence application is considered by WorkSafe, as long as they are not carrying out work that is treated as restricted work under the 1998 regulations.

'Restricted work' is defined in the Regulations as:

restricted work means work in 1 or more of the following categories: 

(a) work involving asbestos, if the asbestos concerned is friable and is or has been used in connection with thermal or acoustic insulation, or fire protection, in buildings, ships, structures, or vehicles:

(b) work involving asbestos, if the asbestos concerned is friable and is or has been used in connection with lagging around boilers, ducts, furnaces, or pipes:

(c) the demolition or maintenance of any thing, including a building or a part of a building, containing friable asbestos:

(d) the encapsulation of materials containing friable asbestos:

(e) the use, on asbestos cement or other bonded product containing asbestos, of—

(i) a power tool with any kind of cutting blade or abrasive device, except when it is used with dust control equipment; or

(ii) any other equipment whose use may result in the release of asbestos dust, except when it is used with dust control equipment:

(f) dry sanding of floor coverings containing asbestos 

This measure has been designed to ensure PCBU’s nominated Supervisor(s) on the licence have time to sit a competency test (if needed). Supervisors with a relevant Certificate of Competence (current as at 4 April 2016 and for the categories they have listed on their CoC) don’t need to take the competence test.

To continue doing removal work during the grace period, businesses must:

  • have applied for a Class B licence and have received notification from WorkSafe that the application has been received;
  • use dust control equipment if using equipment with any kind of cutting blade or equipment that may cause the release of asbestos dust.



Will Supervisors need formal training if they hold a Certificate of Competence?

Supervisors will need formal training by April 2018 whether they have a Certificate of Competence (CoC), or not.

Private training organisations will run the formal training (not WorkSafe).


Under the new asbestos licensing system, how is the 10m2 rule applied for an object that isn’t flat, such as asbestos piping?

For a pipe you’d use the external surface area of the pipe. You can work this out by multiplying the outside circumference of the pipe by its length. This equals the surface area in square metres.

The external surface area of a pipe is calculated according to the following equation:  


Π x diameter (m)

= Max length (m) [icon] Green tick small No licence required


Example 1:

For a 100mm (0.1m) pipe that is 10m in length -

3.14 x 0.1m x 10m

= 3.14m [icon] Green tick small No licence required


For a 250mm (0.25m) pipe that is 15m in length –

3.14 x 0.25m x 15m

= 11.77m2 [icon] Orange exclamation small Licence required


Example 2:

Maximum length of 100mm (0.1m) pipe that can be removed without a licence

10 (m2)

3.14 x 0.1 (m)

= 31.84m [icon] Green tick small No licence required


Maximum length of 250mm (0.25m) pipe that can be removed without a licence

10 (m2)

3.14 x 0.25 (m)

= 12.73m2 [icon] Green tick small No licence required


Last updated 22 April 2016


On Monday 4 April 2016, the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect.

HSWA repeals the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with immediate effect.

All references to the 1992 Act on this website and within our guidance will be progressively removed.