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Asbestos-related work

PCBU duties

DUTY DESCRIPTION REGULATION REF
Uncertainty as to presence of asbestos

If a PCBU is uncertain whether asbestos or ACM is present at a workplace, the PCBU must make sure that analysis of a sample is done to determine if asbestos or ACM is present.

The sample must be analysed by an accredited laboratory.

This does not apply:

  • if the PCBU assumes that asbestos is present, or
  • in relation to soil at the workplace unless there is reasonable cause for the PCBU to suspect that asbestos-contaminated soil is present.
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Duty to give information about health risks of asbestos-related work

A PCBU must give the following information to a person likely to be engaged to carry out asbestos-related work for the business or undertaking, before the person is engaged to do the work:

  • The health risks and health effects associated with exposure to asbestos
  • The need for, and details of, health monitoring of a worker carrying out asbestos-related work.
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Duty to ensure asbestos-related work area separated from other work areas A PCBU that carries out asbestos-related work must make sure that:
  • the asbestos-related work area is separated from other work areas at the workplace, and
  • signs are posted or put up at the asbestos-related work area clearly indicating the presence and location of asbestos and the fact that asbestos-related work is being carried out, and
  • the signs comply with any applicable safe work instrument, and
  • barriers mark out the asbestos-related work area.
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Duty to carry out air monitoring

A PCBU at a workplace must make sure that a competent person carries out air monitoring of the work area where asbestos-related work is being done if there is uncertainty as to whether the airborne contamination standard for asbestos is likely to be exceeded.

If the competent person determines that the airborne contamination standard for asbestos has been exceeded at any time in the work area, the PCBU must, as far as possible:

  • determine which workers and other persons were in the work area during that time, and
  • warn those workers and any other persons about possible exposure to respirable asbestos fibres.

The PCBU must make sure that information about exposure to respirable asbestos fibres, including the determination made by the competent person and the results of the air monitoring, is readily available to the workers and other persons.

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Duty to make decontamination facilities available

A PCBU for which asbestos-related work is carried out must make sure that facilities are available to decontaminate:

  • the asbestos-related work area
  • any plant used in the asbestos-related work area
  • workers carrying out the asbestos-related work.

The PCBU must make sure that nothing that is likely to be contaminated with asbestos is removed from the asbestos-related work area unless the thing, before being removed is:
• decontaminated, or
• sealed in a container, the exterior of the container is decontaminated, and the container is marked clearly in accordance with any applicable safe work instrument to indicate the possible presence of asbestos.

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Duties relating to disposal of asbestos waste and contaminated personal protective equipment

A PCBU for which asbestos-related work is carried out must make sure that asbestos waste:

  • is placed in a sealed container that is marked clearly in accordance with any applicable safe work instrument to indicate the possible presence of asbestos before the waste is removed from the work area, and
  • is disposed of safely and regularly by depositing it in a place approved for the purpose.

The PCBU must make sure that equipment, including personal protective equipment, used in asbestos-related work and contaminated with asbestos:

  • is placed in a sealed container that is marked clearly in accordance with any applicable safe work instrument to indicate the possible presence of asbestos before the waste is removed from the work area, and
  • as far as possible, is disposed of on the completion of the work in a place approved for the purpose.
  • If it is not reasonably practical to dispose of:
  • clothing, the PCBU must make sure that the clothing is laundered at a laundry equipped to launder asbestos-contaminated clothing.
  • equipment that is not clothing, the PCBU must make sure the equipment is decontaminated before it is removed from the asbestos removal area.

If it is not possible to launder the clothing or decontaminate the equipment it must be kept in a sealed container until it is reused for the purposes of asbestos-related work.

The PCBU must make sure that any sealed containers are decontaminated before being removed from the work area.

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Last updated 3 April 2016