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Four Types of Asbestos Surveys in Workplace Buildings & Structures

     The majority of asbestos surveys conducted every year are done by asbestos consultants on behalf of controllers of workplaces including landlords, facility managers, property managers and property developers. They also include the clients who are looking to buy a property but, need an asbestos inspection and asbestos testing prior to committing to purchasing the property. Property developers are required by local councils to commission a competent person to undertake asbestos inspections for demolition or renovation purposes. Apart from the above, landlords and property managers are required to provide to tenants and workers an asbestos register produced based on an asbestos inspection which could include asbestos sampling and testing. If asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are found during the course of demolition or refurbishment and were not previously identified in the asbestos survey or entered into the asbestos register, work should cease immediately and the situation will require a professional asbestos inspection. Health Safety Consultants can assist you in any type of asbestos inspection in Sydney.

Asbestos has been used in over 3000 products most of which are construction materials. The asbestos fibre that can be breathed and lodged in the lungs is of microscopic size and is classified as Category Carcinogen affecting the lungs. Asbestos ban and controls are highly mandated in various legislation in Australia. Therefore, organisations are constantly managing asbestos in workplaces to mitigate exposure health risks and potential litigation risks through ongoing and comprehensive asbestos testing in Sydney, NSW and other states in Australia.

Here are the four types of activities in which asbestos management should be done for making workplaces including the construction sites safer:

1. Management or Pre-purchase Asbestos Surveys:

This survey is focused on identification and management of materials that may contain asbestos in an occupied building and ensure it is safe for occupants and site users. It should be conducted by a competent person as defined by the work health and safety regulation. It also gives a good indication of asbestos liabilities that may be carried to the purchaser of the site. During the identification process, a survey of the site is required for the assessment of existing and/or previously removed construction materials or past industrial activities that may have resulted in asbestos contamination.

2. Demolition and Refurbishment Asbestos Surveys:

As per the Australian Standard 2601-2001, hazardous building materials including asbestos must be identified and removed from the site before starting any demolition process. It requires destructive or intrusive asbestos inspection that includes uncovering internal cavities, inside walls, ceilings and concealed areas of the buildings. The intrusive asbestos inspection, sampling and if required laboratory asbestos testing must be conducted without any restrictions or caveats. The asbestos testing can be undertaken in Sydney, NSW and other Australian States.

3. Asbestos Fibre Air Monitoring During Asbestos Surveys:

Asbestos air monitoring is undertaken during an asbestos inspection or asbestos survey to assist in the assessment of exposure to asbestos fibre. It encompasses sampling and testing of airborne asbestos fibres and estimating the level of air contamination caused by their disturbance. It is mandatory for any situation involving unstable or disturbed friable asbestos and some non-friable asbestos situations. Asbestos fibre air monitoring is also conducted during the asbestos removal as control monitoring and prior to re-occupancy of the removal work area as asbestos clearance monitoring.

4. Ongoing Inspections of the Remaining Asbestos Containing Materials:

It is not always possible to eliminate the asbestos completely from the site. The remaining ACM on site must be appropriately managed in-situ as required by the work health and safety legislation and codes of practice. Workers must be informed about the location of asbestos at the site, how to identify it, the hazards posed by asbestos, its safe handling and the control measures required for working with asbestos. This is known as asbestos awareness training that is required for all asbestos related workers working at a site identified with asbestos. Asbestos and asbestos containing materials must be labelled, encapsulated where required and made safe. Where the asbestos is found as unstable at the site a physical barrier must be installed to ensure no elevated risk of disturbance to the material is likely to occur.

Finally, an authorised and licensed asbestos removal contractor should be hired for removing asbestos. Prior to re-occupancy of the site after the removal of asbestos and asbestos clearance inspection and clearance certificate be issued by a licensed asbestos assessor (friable asbestos) or a competent person (non-friable asbestos) such as an occupational hygienist experienced with asbestos for the site for any licensed asbestos removal work.

Article Source:

The author is working as an expert in the field of asbestos inspection and assessment in Sydney. In this article, he speaks about the importance of Asbestos Surveys and Inspections for landlords, property managers and Property Developers. For more details, visit

Posted on 2018-02-28, By: *

* Click on the author’s name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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