Asbestos Information for Contractors
Maranoa Regional Council (Council) has a duty of care to ensure that exposure of a person at the workplace to airborne asbestos is eliminated or minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.
Asbestos is the generic term for a number of fibrous silicate minerals. Products made from asbestos cement - a bonded asbestos material - include fibro sheeting (flat and profiled) guttering and downpipes, as well as other pipes for water, drainage or flues, corrugated roofing sheets, roofing shingles and guttering.
Current scientific and medical evidence supports the fact that simply living or working in a building containing asbestos is not dangerous, providing the asbestos is in good condition (i.e. undamaged).
It is when asbestos is worked with or disturbed and asbestos fibres are released that the risk of developing an asbestos related disease is increased.
The people at greatest risk of developing an asbestos related disease are those that frequently undertake repairs, renovations and other work which can generate the release of asbestos fibres into the air.
Breathing in asbestos fibres has been linked to three asbestos related diseases, all of which can be fatal.
- Asbestosis - A chronic lung disease that can lead to respiratory impairment and to diseases such as lung cancer.
- Mesothelioma - A cancer of the lining of the pleura (outer lung lining) or of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity).
- Lung cancer - Cannot be distinguished from those cancers that are caused by other agents such as tobacco smoke.
Before carrying out any works to Council buildings (or associated structures) that may cause disturbance to asbestos containing material you must:
- Ensure that adequate controls have been implemented to manage the risk of exposure to asbestos before carrying out works.
- Receive approval for the works to be undertaken from Facilities (or the person with management and control of Airports or Saleyards if carrying out work at these locations).
- Obtain a copy of the asbestos register for the building you are carrying out works on and review it.
- Assume asbestos is present if there is uncertainty or arrange for an analysis of a sample to be undertaken to determine if ACM (Asbestos Containing Material) is present.
- If an asbestos register is not available, ensure the structure or plant to be demolished or refurbished has been inspected by a competent person to determine if any asbestos or ACM is fixed to or installed (or assume its presence).
- Ensure the asbestos-related work area is separated from other work areas at the workplace, signs are used to indicate where the asbestos-related work is being carried out and barricades are used to delineate the asbestos-related work area.
- Where asbestos is determined to be fixed to or installed, notify Council.
- If an emergency occurs where asbestos is identified (or assumed) and it must be demolished, ensure there is a procedure to reduce the risk of exposure to below the exposure standard and notify the regulator about the emergency.
- Be aware of the health monitoring requirements for a worker carrying out asbestos-related work.
- Any worker undertaking asbestos-related work must be informed of the health risks of exposure to asbestos and that they will need to undergo health monitoring. Further information can be found in Health monitoring for exposure to hazardous chemicals – Guide for persons conducting a business or undertaking.
Council owes a duty to prepare and maintain an Asbestos Management Plan and Asbestos Register that is readily available to workers.
Council's Asbestos Management Plan can be accessed here IMMS Asbestos Management Process
Maranoa Regional Council
Call 1300 007 662 – Contact the Facilities (Land, Buildings & Structures) Team or Erisk Team.
Queensland Government – Asbestos
Trades and contractors
Safe Work Procedure
Induction and safety training for unlicensed work
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland