Even though asbestos use in Australia was banned decades ago, this hazardous material is still present in some old buildings. Asbestos removal is a delicate activity that should be left to experienced professionals due to associated environmental and health risks after exposure. Here are some tips for handling asbestos in the workplace.
It is not only prudent but a legal requirement for a workplace to keep an updated record of asbestos. In almost all Australian states and territories, buildings constructed before December 31, 2003, must have an up-to-date asbestos register. Furthermore, any building that has the presence of asbestos should also have an asbestos register. An asbestos register should identify all areas in the building that have asbestos. The register also captures the risks related to the building as a result of the hazardous material. The register ensures that workers and the general public are aware of the risk of asbestos in the building. Also, an asbestos register ensures that an asbestos removal expert can assess the amount of asbestos to give you a cost estimate for the removal project.
Use Appropriate Equipment and Clothing
When removing and managing asbestos at the workplace, you should make sure that you use the right tools and equipment. For instance, the use of compressed air and high-pressure water sprays are prohibited because they can disturb asbestos fibres and thus release toxic particles. A removal expert can help you determine the right tools for removing asbestos. The crew working at the workplace must have the right personal protective equipment (PPE), including footwear, disposable coveralls, nose masks and footwear. Furthermore, the personal protective equipment used in asbestos removal should be disposed of as opposed to cleaning them.
Adhere to Law and Regulations
Before embarking on an asbestos removal project at the workplace, you should familiarise yourself with the federal and state laws and regulations on asbestos handling and removal. The general laws that guide this process include the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2007 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. The former law prescribes the obligations of an employer during asbestos handling. An employer should control the exposure of employees to airborne asbestos fibres. The Health Act, on the other hand, outlines crucial prohibitions when removing asbestos, such as the prescription of the type of PPEs and equipment for the work. Having a grasp of these laws, state regulations and local authority by-laws can guarantee safety at the workplace during the asbestos removal process.
To learn more about asbestos disposal and removal, contact a contractor in your area today.