Sydney’s Asbestos Removal Regulations Explained

Asbestos remains a significant health hazard in Sydney, and it’s essential for property owners to understand the asbestos removal regulations that apply to them. Whether you own a residential or commercial property, these regulations are designed to ensure the safe, responsible, and effective handling of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), protecting the well-being of occupants and the wider community.

In this article, we provide an overview of Sydney’s asbestos removal regulations, including licencing requirements, disposal regulations, and responsibilities of property owners. Becoming familiar with these regulations will allow you to make well-informed decisions when faced with asbestos-related situations and help you maintain a safe and compliant property.

Equip yourself with essential knowledge by exploring the key points of Sydney’s asbestos removal regulations, and discover the importance of compliance in guaranteeing the health and safety of everyone involved.

1. Licencing Requirements for Asbestos Removal

In Sydney, the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 outlines the licensing requirements for asbestos removal work. There are two classes of asbestos removal licences:

– Class A: Permits the removal of all types of asbestos-containing materials, including friable asbestos and non-friable asbestos. Class A licence holders are also authorised to remove asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD).

– Class B: Permits the removal of non-friable asbestos, and ACD is associated solely with the removal of non-friable asbestos.

For property owners, it’s essential to engage a removalist with the appropriate licence based on the type of asbestos project being conducted.

2. Homeowner Responsibilities Regarding Asbestos

Property owners in Sydney have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of individuals occupying or working on their property. When managing asbestos-related risks, property owners must:

– Identify and document asbestos-containing materials within the property

– Develop and implement an asbestos management plan (if applicable)

– Inform tenants, employees, and contractors about the presence of asbestos

– Ensure that any asbestos-related work is carried out by appropriately licenced professionals

– Adhere to proper notification and disposal guidelines for asbestos materials

3. Asbestos Removal Notification in Sydney

In Sydney, licenced asbestos removalists are required to notify SafeWork NSW at least five days before commencing any licensed asbestos removal work. There are some exceptions to this notification requirement, such as emergency removals in response to equipment failure or natural disasters. Additionally, property owners must notify adjoining neighbours about the asbestos removal work being conducted on their property, with details of the start and end dates, and the contact information for the licenced asbestos removal contractor.

4. Proper Disposal of Asbestos Waste in Sydney

Disposing of asbestos waste is strictly regulated in Sydney to protect the environment and public health. Asbestos waste must be:

– Kept wet (unless impractical) and secure during transport to minimise the risk of fibre release

– Transported using covered vehicles or covered in plastic sheeting

– Double-wrapped in heavy-duty plastic bags or sheets, labelled as asbestos waste, and sealed using adhesive tape

– Disposed of at approved waste facilities licensed to accept asbestos

Property owners should ensure their licenced removalist handles waste following these guidelines, as improper disposal can lead to significant penalties and environmental damage.

5. Asbestos Air Monitoring and Clearance Inspection

Asbestos air monitoring and clearance inspections are crucial steps after asbestos removal work, ensuring that the air quality is safe and free from asbestos fibres. In Sydney:

– Air monitoring is generally required during Class A asbestos removal work and is recommended for Class B asbestos removal if there is a risk of air contamination.

– An independent licenced asbestos assessor must perform the clearance inspection and issue a clearance certificate after the completion of any Class A asbestos removal work. For Class B, the clearance inspection can be performed either by a competent person (who is neither the removalist nor the property owner) or a licensed asbestos assessor.

As a property owner, it’s essential to include these steps in the asbestos removal process to ensure a safe environment for occupants and workers after the completion of the project.

6. Asbestos Management Plan for Commercial Properties

If you own a commercial property in Sydney with the presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), you’re required to develop and implement an asbestos management plan (AMP). An AMP outlines the following:

– The location, type, and condition of ACMs within the property

– Measures to manage the risks associated with ACMs

– Procedures for maintenance, renovation, or demolition work

– Training and induction processes for employees and contractors

– Periodic review and updating of the AMP to account for any changes in regulations or asbestos status

As a commercial property owner, it’s crucial to keep your AMP up to date and provide clear communication with all employees, tenants, and contractors about asbestos-related risks on your premises.

Stay Compliant with Sydney’s Asbestos Removal Regulations

Understanding and adhering to Sydney’s asbestos removal regulations are vital for the safety and well-being of property owners, occupants, and workers. Proper compliance ensures you meet your legal obligations and reduce risks associated with asbestos exposure, which is essential for safeguarding everyone on your property.

For reliable and professional asbestos services, consult Sydney City Asbestos, a trusted expert in the field. We offer comprehensive asbestos inspections, removal, and disposal solutions tailored to your specific requirements, ensuring your property remains compliant and safe. Contact us today to discuss any concerns regarding asbestos management or to schedule an inspection for your property. Allow us to help you navigate the complexities of asbestos regulations while prioritising the health and safety of your property and its occupants.

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