A fresh alarm over Asbestos in Commercial Workplaces has been raised.
Asbestos remains one of the most deadly threats in the Australian workplace more than 15 years since its use and importation were banned. Consequently, the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency (the peak federal government agency overseeing Asbestos Management in Australia) is concerned that there is a misconception that certain forms of asbestos are safer than others.
While extensive education directed at tradies and home renovators has occurred, there is possibly as much asbestos present in commercial and industrial workplaces and other buildings from the same period.
Location of Asbestos in Commercial Workplaces
Asbestos in commercial and industrial workplaces includes all the usual places like roofs, flooring, walls, fences and behind wet areas and kitchens.
However, it is in also found in places like:
- Plant and Machinery Gaskets and Seals
- Lagging (for insulation and heat transfer protection) around and built into pipework and flues
- Insulation material in electrical switchboards
While in most situations the asbestos fibres are bonded into the material or often hidden behind other building materials it needs to be understood that there are many different ways the asbestos can still be released into the air as fibres creating a hazard.
How Bonded Asbestos in Commercial Workplaces can be Released
In addition to obvious forms of release, such as drilling or sawing, natural phenomena such as weathering and even earthquakes or cyclones and other storms have the potential to break down bonded material.
How to Manage the Risk of Asbestos in Commercial Workplaces
Australian employers have a duty under the Occupational Health & Safety Acts to identify asbestos in the workplace (including plant) so far as is reasonably practicable. They are also required to document this in an asbestos register, consulting with employees, controlling associated risks and notifying anyone contracted to work at the workplace of the presence of asbestos.
However, the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency recommends that the only way to properly manage the risk of asbestos is to remove it from the environment (a task that can only be carried out by licensed asbestos removalists).
Take Action Today.
Jim’s Asbestos Removal and Hazardous Materials Division has the ability to work with employers and licensed Asbestos Assessors (Jim’s Building Inspectors) to provide the required inspection, a management plan, advise on and carry out either safe encapsulation works or removal works.
Call our team on 131 546 to organise a Commercial Asbestos Inspection, Register and Management Plan today.
Request a quote here.