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Safe Environments prides itself on the quality of its tests and reports for all statutory and regulatory requirements.

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    Asbestos Canberra & ACT

    Canberra & ACT Asbestos Inspections, Testing & Consulting Services

    Carl John Strautins

    Whether you manage a large property portfolio or you require assistance during a home renovation in Canberra or the ACT, an Asbestos Check with Safe Environments provides cost effective and timely solutions through:

    • Asbestos Identification, Inspections & Surveys 
    • Asbestos Testing & Analysis
    • Asbestos Risk Assessments
    • Asbestos Control Measures
    • Asbestos Removal Project Management
    • Asbestos Re-Inspection and Management

    Asbestos Identification, Inspections & Surveys

    Safe Environments asbestos consultants are licensed by the ACT Planning & Land Authority and will review the relevant asbestos legislation required to comply with your Canberra and ACT asbestos legislation and undertake an inspection of the building. The asbestos inspection provides identification of asbestos containing materials (ACM), generation of asbestos register and a report meeting Canberra and ACT asbestos requirements.

    Asbestos Testing & Analysis

    Our asbestos consultants conduct asbestos testing to confirm and identify the type of asbestos within a material. Either send us the material for testing, or we will collect the sample for you. Onsite asbestos air monitoring provides quantitative asbestos analysis to test if there are respirable asbestos fibres in the air.

    Asbestos Risk Assessment

    Safe Environments asbestos consultants provide a comprehensive risk assessment based on the Health and Safety Executive material assessment and priority assessment algorithms. Quantitative risk assessments are conducted by asbestos air testing.

     Asbestos Control Measures

    After an asbestos inspection our asbestos consultants provide action plans that are formulated to provide sound advice to minimise asbestos health risks. Control measures include asbestos awareness training, labelling asbestos materials, annual asbestos audits, developing safe systems of work and contractor management.

    Asbestos Removal Project Management

    Safe Environments can engage asbestos removal companies on your behalf. This will save you time, money and effort involved with the complexity of asbestos removal by obtaining quotes, quality assuring removal contractors work, licenses, insurances and procedures. Additionally our asbestos consultants can provide Reassurance and Clearance Air testing after removal for safe re-occupation of properties.

     Asbestos Re-Inspection and Management

    The ultimate goal is for all Canberra and ACT workplaces to be free of asbestos containing materials; however this is not reasonably practicable in most situations. An Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) clearly defines the procedures and responsibilities of those who have control of the potential asbestos hazard in the workplace and provides periodic asbestos inspections, asbestos air monitoring and asbestos risk assessments.

    Asbestos Emergency Procedures

    The provision of emergency procedures is essential if you have asbestos within a building during the event of asbestos material being damaged or in the event of a fire. Safe Environments will assist you during the first critical stages of an emergency to contain, quantify and decontaminate, getting your business back to work.

    Identifying Asbestos in Canberra & ACT

    Identifying asbestos by engaging an asbestos consultant licensed by the ACT Planning & Land Authority asbestos surveyor or asbestos consultant is an important check on the property to ensure that the risk of asbestos related illness is minimised. Asbestos is a common naturally occurring mineral silicate that was used in many building products such as fibre cement sheet.  When left and maintained in a good condition, bonded asbestos does not pose a significant health risk unless the asbestos containing material is deteriorated or disturbed such that it liberates fibres into the air.

    A good understanding of building codes and construction techniques will assist in identifying potential asbestos containing materials as asbestos was used within building materials primarily due to the fibres providing superior fire resistance and heat insulation. A qualified asbestos consultant or surveyor should be used to confirm if the material contains asbestos and conduct a risk assessment and record the results within an asbestos register. The following is not an exhaustive list, however it will assist in identifying where asbestos products may be found:

    • Fibre cement sheet eaves , ceilings, walls, gables and fascia
    • Fibre cement sheet packing and capping materials under structural supports and roof tiles
    • Vinyl Floor tiles
    • Compressed fibre cement sheet floors
    • Corrugated roof sheets
    • Sealants to movement joints and air condition duct work
    • Roof membranes
    • Moulded cement water pipes
    • Moulded asbestos lining to telephone pits
    • Molded cistern tanks
    • Pipe lagging
    • Heater and boiler insulation
    • Heater and boiler insulation
    • Flange gaskets to pipes
    • Ceiling tiles
    • Insulation and sheeting to fire doors
    • Electrical backing boards
    • Spandrel panels underneath windows
    • Spray applied fire rating material to ceiling and structural beams
    • Sound dampener underneath the kitchen sink
    • Window putty
    • Pointing work between brickwork
    • Millboard insulation to air conditioning reheating elements

    An asbestos surveyor or consultant should be used in identifying potential asbestos containing materials. Identifying asbestos cannot be confirmed by a visual examination, samples of the suspected material must undergo asbestos testing at a laboratory using a microscope. If a suspected material is not submitted for testing, then the material will be presumed to contain asbestos. While the asbestos testing may seem to be an unwanted expense, it can save money in the long term as any repair or removal will required expensive controls and monitoring.

    Asbestos Management Plans in Canberra & ACT

    The purpose of an asbestos management plan is to assist Canberra & ACT property owners to prevent exposure to airborne asbestos fibres while asbestos containing material remains in the workplace. The ultimate goal is for all Canberra & ACT workplaces to be free of asbestos containing materials; however this is not reasonably practicable in most situations. An Asbestos management to comply with ACT legislation must clearly define the procedures and responsibilities of those who have control, or to make aware of the potential asbestos hazard in Canberra & ACT workplaces.

    The initial step in developing an asbestos management plan is to engage an asbestos consultant to undertake an asbestos inspection or survey. Only approved assessors

    The asbestos survey involves a visual inspection of the accessible areas of the building and collecting suspected samples of asbestos materials that are then analysed by a NATA accredited laboratory. An assessment of the risk to health is then carried out on the confirmed asbestos materials. Labels should also be affixed to the asbestos containing materials to warn people of the potential asbestos hazard.

    If the asbestos containing material poses a health risk based on the activities being undertaken in the the current condition suitable control measures are required to be implemented. This may included Restriction to the area if there is a risk to health from exposure, then removal of the asbestos containing materials by a licensed contractor. Other methods of controlling asbestos in the workplace is through encapsulation or enclosure by sealing or some other form of physical barrier until removal is possible. In each situation, advice should be sought from a competent asbestos consultant.

    The periodic review of asbestos inspections and surveys should be outlined in the asbestos management plan. Generally this occurs on a yearly basis, or when significant disturbance has occurred to assess the risk to health. The asbestos management plan should incorporate procedures for asbestos removal and maintenance & service work that is likely to disturb asbestos containing materials. This can be part of the induction process and viewed at the contractors sign in area.

    Asbestos Registers in Canberra & ACT

    An asbestos register required by Canberra and ACT law is a document which contains information on Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) within a building that is likely to contain asbestos. An asbestos register in Canberra and the ACT should be held onsite for buildings that contain asbestos to comply with ACT legislation requirements. The asbestos register uses risk management principles by:

    • Identifying asbestos containing materials within Canberrra and ACT workplaces;
    • Assessing the risk to health for each asbestos instance identified; and
    • Recommending measures to control the risk to health if required.

    The identification of asbestos for the Canberra & ACT compliant asbestos register involves a combination of visual inspection of the accessible areas of the building and the collection materials suspected of containing asbestos for testing. The suspected asbestos samples are then tested by a NATA accredited laboratory. The results of the inspection are tabulised in an asbestos register which include:

    • Location of the asbestos containing material
    • Asbestos composition and type through mineralogical analysis and the material friability
    • Risk to health based on the condition, potential disturbance and occupancy level
    • Recommendations to control or further minimise risk to occupant health

    An asbestos register should be reviewed on a yearly basis, or sooner if the material has been disturbed or removed to assess the risk to health. The asbestos register should be integrated within an asbestos management plan. 

    Types of Asbestos Inspections

    Asbestos inspections are required for buildings that are likely to contain asbestos. ACT legislation requires that all buildings suspected of containing asbestos materials must have asbestos inspections conducted. However not all asbestos inspections are the same. The type of asbestos inspections during occupation will be different to the type of asbestos inspections required before renovations.

    Safe Environments provide three types of asbestos inspections that include location and assessment asbestos inspections (Type 1 & 2) along with demolition asbestos inspections (Type 3).

    • Type 1 – Location and assessment asbestos inspections (presumptive asbestos inspections)

    Type 1 Presumptive Asbestos Inspections are undertaken by identifying suspected asbestos materials without taking samples. The type 1 asbestos inspection presumes that the material contains asbestos. The presumptive asbestos inspection reduces the cost by deferring asbestos testing before demolition or refurbishment.  A risk assessment based on the material condition is tabulated as part of an asbestos register compliant with Canberra & ACT asbestos legislation.

    • Type 2 – Location and assessment asbestos inspections (sampling asbestos inspections)

    Type 2 Sampling Asbestos Inspections are similar to Type 1 presumptive asbestos inspections however; representative samples of the suspected asbestos containing material are collected for asbestos testing. Asbestos testing at the time of asbestos inspections generally save expense in the longer term as special precautions and expensive maintenance procedures are not required if no asbestos is detected in the material.

    • Type 3 – Full access sampling and identification asbestos inspections (pre demolition/major refurbishment asbestos inspections)

    Type 3 Demolition Asbestos Inspections provide the location of the asbestos within the building that are required to be removed before demolition. Demolition asbestos inspections are intended to partially comply with the hazardous materials auditing procedure (clause 1.6) of AS 2601 Demolition of Structures. The demolition asbestos inspection includes inspections of wall cavities and other areas not accessible when the building was occupied.
    The results of asbestos inspections are tabulated with an asbestos register and are an essential part of an asbestos management plan. Asbestos inspections should be conducted on an annual basis, or sooner if the asbestos containing material has been disturbed or removed, to re assess the potential risk to health.