Asbestos Sampling, Containment, Management & Removal
Licensed asbestos removal contractors are to be used for the safe removal of asbestos for amounts greater than 10m2. To be licensed for removal of asbestos, one must hold an ASA/ASB (previously AS1/AS2) licence issued by SafeWork NSW (otherwise known as WorkCover NSW).
Beasy Pty Ltd is a Friable & Non-friable Asbestos Removal Licence (ASA / ASB) holder and we are confidently committed to the safe & efficient sampling, containment, management and if required removal of any type of asbestos including other hazardous materials.
Although hazardous materials works (including asbestos) are only part of what we have to offer as a complete “one stop shop” Site Preparation company, we pride ourselves in our capability in various types of hazardous material work such as:
- Fast & efficient sampling
- Organising of Hazardous Materials Management Plans
- Compilation of Asbestos Removal Control Plans
- Supervisory works (with removal by others or by arrangement, removal by us)
- Removal works
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a generic term for a number of fibrous silicate rock-forming minerals. As a naturally occurring rock fibre, asbestos is mined then broken down from mineral clumps into groups of loose fibres.
Airborne asbestos fibres are small, odourless and tasteless. It presents a health risk when it crumbles and the fine fibres become airborne and are breathed into the lungs.
Types of Asbestos
Non-Friable Asbestos (Bonded) – when asbestos fibres are bonded to another material; such as cement or resin binder. It cannot be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.
Friable Asbestos – asbestos-containing material which, when dry, is or may become crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure. This may include ACM that have been subjected to conditions that leave them in a state where they meet the above definition, such as weathering, physical damage, water damage etc.
Where is it found?
Structures typically erected before 1988 may contain asbestos and various other items such as plant and equipment were permitted to contain asbestos up until 31st December 2003. Asbestos has also recently been imported in building products. therefore there is no “safe manufactured or constructed before date” for asbestos related items. Asbestos is often found within soil from previous construction related or tip site activities.
Examples of where asbestos may be commonly found in buildings include:
- Fibro sheeting; commonly found in older garages, bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and external walls
- Roofs; including eaves and gables
- Vinyl tiles and backing
- Drainage and flue pipes
- Formwork beneath slabs
- Electrical backing boards
Other Hazardous Materials
A number of other substances may be present particularly in older buildings that may present health risks if disturbed during renovation or demolition work. These substances are not limited to but include:
- Lead paint; often in paints used in houses built prior to 1970
- Synthetic Mineral Fibre (SMF); used for thermal and acoustic insulation, and reinforcing agents
- Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB); found in older fluorescent light fittings, transformers and capacitors
Removal and Handling of Asbestos as Part of a Development Application
Licensed asbestos removal contractors are to be used for the removal of asbestos for amounts greater than 10 square meters.
Note: To be licensed for removal of asbestos, an asbestos removal contractor must hold an ASA (AS1) or ASB (AS2) licence issued by WorkCover. A demolition licence or certificates obtained from a one or two day asbestos TAFE course does not constitute an asbestos removal license.
Council normally requires a Hazardous Material Survey / Audit and any associated Hazardous Substances Management Plan be prepared for all development applications that involve the demolition of a building.
The hazardous substances audit and any associated management plan may be required up front as part of the assessment process prior to Council or a Private Certifier issuing consent for the development.
Removal and Handling of Asbestos That is not Part of a Development Application
It is important to get advice about how to identify, remove and handle asbestos and hazardous substances properly.
Special care and management is needed even for small renovation jobs that don’t require a development application.
Beasy Pty Ltd recommends you:
- Treat all fibro sheets as if they contain asbestos unless tested.
- Use a licensed asbestos removal contractor to remove all materials containing asbestos.
What do you do if you Find Asbestos in Your Home?
If asbestos containing material is in sound condition and left undisturbed it generally will not present a significant health risk. If asbestos fibres remain firmly bound in a solid cement sheet or structure such as in ‘fibro’ sheeting, you do not usually need to remove the fibro or even coat it.
If you have materials in your home you suspect may contain asbestos and are concerned with potential health risks Beasy Pty Ltd recommends you contact an Occupational Hygienist or other qualified consultant to sample and analyse the material.
If the material does contain asbestos these qualified persons can also provide advice on how to manage the risks associated with the material.