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We have clarified our view of what good practice looks like with regard to sections 6.4, 16.5 and 16.6 of WorkSafe's 'Management and removal of asbestos' approved code of practice (ACOP). These clarifications will be consulted on during the review/update of the Asbestos ACOP.
Clarification on when asbestos should be considered friable
However, in relation to the removal of textured ceilings or vinyl floors, in at least some cases, this is not correct, as conducting work on the ACM does change its state from non-friable to friable.
Clarification on health monitoring
We have clarified our view of what good practice looks like with regard to sections 16.5 and 16.6 of WorkSafe's ACOP: Management and removal of asbestos.
These two sections of the ACOP describe the components of health monitoring and when health monitoring of workers should occur.
What health monitoring must include
Unless a medical practitioner recommends another type of health monitoring, the health monitoring must include:
- A physical examination
This should emphasise the respiratory system, and include a lung function test (FEV1 and FVC).
Note: A chest x-ray (PA and lateral) is no longer required unless a specialist recommends it.
- Consideration of:
- the worker’s demographics, and
- their medical and occupational history, and
- records of the worker’s personal exposure to asbestos, for example:
- relevant risk assessment reports
- air monitoring results
- investigation reports, if the airborne contamination standard for asbestos was exceeded.
The ACOP calls this health monitoring a ‘full asbestos medical’.
How often a full asbestos medical is required
A full asbestos medical should be performed every 2 years from when work with asbestos commences, regardless of when the worker started work with their current PCBU.
Note: this amended schedule replaces Table 7 in Section 16.6.1 of the ACOP, which required a full asbestos medical at different intervals.