Asbestos Management Plans
Safety is everyone's responsibility and when it comes to managing loose fill asbestos insulation within residential properties there are new laws in the ACT to ensure greater awareness for industry and the community.
New regulations apply that aim to minimise exposure for people living, working in or visiting properties affected by "Mr Fluffy" loose fill asbestos in the medium term. Those surrendering their property to the ACT Government through the Voluntary Buyback Program before 1 July 2016 are exempt from these requirements.
A homeowner is accepting risk by remaining or allowing others to remain in an affected property and is responsible for minimising exposure to themselves, workers and visitors.
The first advice remains that homeowners / tenants should not reside in these properties and the Buyback Program supported this as the Government offered to purchase all properties as at 28 October 2014, as loose fill asbestos insulation is a dangerous substance that poses an exposure risk to homeowners, tradespeople, service providers and visitors.
However, where homeowners / tenants seek to stay in affected houses, including through using the flexible settlement option in the Buyback Program, the asbestos management plans can help minimise exposure in the medium term.
The new regulation under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 aims to minimise further exposure for homeowners, tradespeople, service providers and visitors to "Mr Fluffy" affected houses in the medium term.
Every affected property is different and will require a tailored asbestos management plan prepared and implemented by a professional licensed asbestos assessor and removalist.
- 1 February 2016 - asbestos management plan, prepared by a licensed asbestos assessor, needs to be submitted to WorkSafe ACT.
- Within six (6) months - of the asbestos management plan assessment, any recommended work such as cleaning, sealing, locking and/ or labelling needs to be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist.
- Every two (2) years - a new asbestos management plan needs to be prepared and submitted to WorkSafe ACT.
- Five (5) business days before - the commencement of any building or maintenance work that may disturb contamination in the roof space, wall cavity or sub-floor area, WorkSafe ACT must be advised.
- After any building work or structural damage - that may have disturbed the asbestos contamination in the roof space, wall cavity or sub-floor area, a new asbestos management plan must be prepared.
An asbestos management plan needs to be prepared by a licensed asbestos assessor and will include:
- an asbestos contamination report which identifies the location, type and condition of asbestos contamination in the house and any opening or crack through which asbestos contamination could enter the living areas;
- an assessment of the risk associated with the contamination or potential for contamination;
- a plan that advises how the contamination should be managed through actions such as cleaning, sealing, locking and labelling (the contamination management plan).
The licensed asbestos assessor will submit the plans to Worksafe ACT and provide the owner with a copy.
A licensed removalist needs to undertake the recommended works within six (6) months of the assessment and submit certification of the completion of works to WorkSafe ACT, the owner and occupier.
The homeowner of a "Mr Fluffy" affected property must:
- arrange for a licensed asbestos assessor to inspect the affected property and prepare an asbestos management plan;
- arrange for a licensed asbestos removalist to complete any cleaning, sealing, locking and labelling works identified in the plan;
- comply with any other contamination management requirement identified in the plan;
- arrange for a new asbestos management plan to be done every two (2) years or immediately after any building work or structural damage that may have disturbed the asbestos contamination in the roof space, wall cavity or sub-floor area;
- advise WorkSafe ACT at least five (5) business days before any planned building work or maintenance work begins that may disturb contamination in the roof space, wall cavity or sub-floor area;
- provide a copy of the plan to any occupier of the premises.
A homeowner will need to pay for the preparation of the asbestos management plan and the implementation of any recommended actions. This cost will vary from property to property.
The occupier of a "Mr Fluffy" affected property must:
- tell any person entering the house that it is affected by "Mr Fluffy" loose fill asbestos. This includes, but is not limited to, tradespeople, service providers such as health care workers or general visitors;
- make a copy of the asbestos management plan available to that person;
- ensure that any works undertaken by an asbestos removalist to clean, seal, lock and/or label are not tampered with or removed.
- Worksafe ACT and the Asbestos Industry Forum including licensed asbestos assessors and removalists operating in the ACT.