WorkSafe-approved methods provide for work involving asbestos to be carried out that would otherwise be prohibited. You must apply to us to receive approval to use such a work method.

What is an approved method?

WorkSafe-approved methods provide for work involving asbestos to be carried out that would otherwise be prohibited by the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 (Regulations)(external link).

The Regulations prohibit PCBUs from carrying out work involving asbestos or asbestos containing material (ACM), or from directing or allowing a worker to carry out work involving asbestos or ACM, unless the work is of a type described in regulation 7(2) or 7(4)(external link) or the work is carried out in accordance with a method approved by WorkSafe.

Under regulation 8(1)(external link), “WorkSafe may, on application by a PCBU or on its own initiative, approve a method for managing the risk associated with asbestos in the workplace.”

A PCBU must comply with all relevant requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015(external link) and the Regulations when carrying out, or directing or allowing a worker to carry out, work to which an approved method applies, whether or not those requirements are referred to in the approved method.

When does an approval legally come into effect?

An method approval is legally effective from the date it is signed by WorkSafe’s Chief Executive. The date is recorded on each approved method document.

WorkSafe approved methods

Approved methods that are not commercially sensitive are published below.

Approved methods for managing risks associated with:

Temporary storage of asbestos waste

Approved method aviation transport - asbestos (PDF 730 KB)
Approved method transporting buildings - asbestos (PDF 836 KB)

Effective date for approved methods: 21 March 2016

How to apply

You as a PCBU must apply to WorkSafe to approve a work method if you want to conduct asbestos-related work in a way that falls outside the Regulations. To enable WorkSafe to properly assess an application and to contact you, all of the following information must be provided. If any information is missing, or if we require additional information, you will be given a reasonable timeframe to provide this before we make a decision on the application.

Your application must be made in writing, and include the following information:

Applicant details

  • Full legal name of business, eg name registered with the Companies Office or Inland Revenue.
  • Trading name, if different from the full legal name.
  • New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), if a registered company.
  • Note: The company’s NZBN can be found by searching the company at www.nzbn.govt.nz.(external link)
  • Contact person’s name, email address, and at least one contact phone number. (Provide the details of the person that we can contact during the application process if necessary).
  • Physical address. (Provide the current business address details including level/unit number and building name (if relevant), street number, street name, suburb (if relevant), town/city and postcode.
  • Postal address. (Provide the postal address if this is different to the physical address.

Proposed method

Provide a description of the proposed method to be used. The method should clearly state all relevant requirements to be complied with in order to manage the risk associated with asbestos.

Risk mitigation

Provide a description of how the proposed method mitigates the asbestos related health risks associated with the work.

Evidence to support the application

Include any evidence to support the application. This may include, but not be limited to, expert opinion and their qualifications to support the validity of the opinion.

Where to send your application

Send your application letter and any supporting documents to us by email or post.

Put ‘Approved Method Application’ and the PCBU’s legal name in the email’s subject line.

WorkSafe New Zealand
Technical Programmes and Support,
PO Box 165Wellington.

What is the decision-making process?

We will make a decision whether to approve the method based on the information and supporting documentation provided. The decision will be made within 120 days of receipt of an application.

We will either:

  • approve the method, or
  • refuse to approve the method.

You will be notified if we propose to refuse to approve the method. An opportunity to comment on the proposed refusal will be given before we make our final decision.
Once a new method has been approved, you will be notified. If the approved method is not commercially sensitive it will be published above.

Change or withdrawal of an approved method

We may:

  • withdraw our approval of a method for managing the risk associated with asbestos at the workplace, or
  • make changes to an approved method.

Before taking any action under regulation 8(7)(external link) of the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016(external link), we will consult with the affected parties, and give the original applicant (if any) written notice of the proposed action and a reasonable opportunity to respond.