A Complete Guide to Asbestos Regulations in Sydney

Asbestos, a hazardous material that was once prevalent in building materials used across Australia, presents a significant safety concern for homeowners, property managers, and commercial property owners in Sydney. With the potential to cause severe health issues, it’s crucial to adhere to the strict regulations and legal requirements that govern the proper management and removal of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

In this comprehensive guide, Sydney City Asbestos breaks down the relevant regulations and legal requirements for safe asbestos removal and management in Sydney. We will delve into the rules and guidelines that apply to residential and commercial properties, covering aspects such as licencing, notification procedures, waste disposal, and necessary precautions to ensure the safe and compliant handling of ACMs. Equip yourself with the knowledge and understanding of these regulations to protect your family, tenants, staff, and yourself. Stay informed and ensure a safe environment with expert advice from Sydney City Asbestos.

1. Licencing Requirements for Asbestos Removal in Sydney

In Sydney and across New South Wales (NSW), the safe removal and management of asbestos-containing materials are governed by the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017. According to these regulations, professional asbestos removal requires licencing from SafeWork NSW, with two types of licences available:

– Class A Licence: Allows removal of all forms of asbestos, including friable and non-friable materials and asbestos-contaminated dust (ACD).

– Class B Licence: Permits the removal of non-friable asbestos materials and ACD associated with the removal of non-friable materials.

Homeowners, property managers, and commercial property owners should ensure that the asbestos removal services they engage in hold the appropriate licence for their specific requirements.

2. Notifiable Works and Regulatory Procedures

Asbestos removal jobs classified as “notifiable work” must be reported to SafeWork NSW at least five days before commencing the work. Notifiable work is defined as the removal of:

– More than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos materials (Class B Licence).

– Any amount of friable asbestos materials (Class A Licence).

To notify SafeWork NSW, a form must be submitted detailing the project’s specifics, including the property’s address, the nature of the asbestos materials, and the licenced removalist’s information. In addition, asbestos removal work should not commence until the five-day notice period has ended.

3. Safety Measures during Asbestos Removal

The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017 also mandate the implementation of specific safety measures during asbestos removal. These safety precautions aim to minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres and include:

– Clear signage and barricades to inform people that asbestos removal is taking place.

– The use of approved enclosures and negative air pressure units for friable asbestos removal.

– Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as disposable coveralls, P2 respirators, and safety goggles.

– Air monitoring during and after removal to ensure asbestos fibres do not exceed acceptable limits.

These safety measures must be followed closely by the licenced asbestos removalist and should be guided by an asbestos removal control plan, which outlines the work processes, required equipment, and decontamination procedures.

4. Asbestos Waste Disposal Regulations

To prevent further environmental contamination, proper asbestos waste disposal is of utmost importance. In Sydney and throughout NSW, asbestos waste disposal is regulated by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), which sets clear rules for the correct handling and disposal of asbestos-containing materials:

– Asbestos waste must be double-wrapped in heavy-duty, tear-resistant plastic (at least 0.2mm thick) and sealed with adhesive tape to prevent dust from escaping.

– Waste packaging should bear clear labels that indicate the presence of asbestos, such as “DANGER – ASBESTOS WASTE – DO NOT INHALE DUST”.

– Asbestos waste must be transported to an EPA-approved waste management facility, where it will be securely stored and eventually disposed of.

It is crucial to adhere to these regulations, as failure to do so can result in penalty notices or even prosecution.

5. Asbestos Management in Commercial and Public Buildings

For commercial properties and public buildings in Sydney and across NSW, such as schools and hospitals, additional requirements may apply regarding asbestos management. According to the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017, the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is responsible for creating and maintaining an asbestos register and an asbestos management plan. This must include:

– A comprehensive list of all identified or presumed asbestos-containing materials in the building.

– The location, condition, and potential risk associated with each material.

– A schedule for regular inspections and assessments.

– Strategies for the proper management and eventual removal of asbestos.

These records must be accessible to all workers, contractors, and visitors entering the premises and should always be kept up-to-date.

6. Training and Awareness for Asbestos Safety

Lastly, it’s crucial for property owners in Sydney to educate themselves and their staff about the potential risks associated with asbestos exposure and the proper management of ACMs. According to the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017, general asbestos awareness training is mandatory for anyone working in a role that may involve contact with asbestos-containing materials. This training should cover topics such as:

– The history and uses of asbestos.

– The health risks associated with asbestos exposure.

– Proper handling procedures for asbestos-containing materials.

– Identification and assessment of asbestos-containing materials

By ensuring that all parties are well-informed and aware of the risks and regulations surrounding asbestos management, property owners in Sydney can create a safer environment for all who live, work or visit their premises.

Final Thoughts on Asbestos Regulations in Sydney

Navigating the complexities of asbestos regulations in Sydney is crucial for homeowners, property managers, and commercial property owners, ensuring the safety of individuals and compliance with legal requirements. By gaining an understanding of licencing, notifiable works, safety measures, waste disposal, management in public buildings, and the importance of awareness training, you can create a safe and compliant environment when dealing with asbestos-containing materials.

If you require expert asbestos removal services in Sydney, look no further than Sydney City Asbestos. We are a team of experienced, licenced professionals dedicated to providing comprehensive and safe asbestos solutions. Contact us today at 0405 610 006 or visit our website to learn more about our services and request a quote.

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