1. An asbestos survey is a legal requirement.
Under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2017, it’s a mandatory requirement that Australian workplaces built before 31 December 2003 conduct an asbestos survey. The regulations state that the PCBU (anyone who owns, manages, or controls a workplace or plant) must manage the risk from asbestos by:
- Engaging a qualified professional (Licensed Asbestos Assessor) to conduct an asbestos survey
- Ensuring everyone in the workplace is aware of the asbestos hazards by reviewing the asbestos register and management plan
- Ensuring ample onsite assess provided for the asbestos register
- Monitoring and reviewing the management plan regular plan regularly
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe penalties, including fines and even imprisonment. Additionally, failure to manage asbestos properly can result in serious health consequences for anyone who is exposed to the material.
2. An asbestos survey provides protection against recourse.
An asbestos survey is a crucial step in ensuring the safety of individuals who may come into contact with asbestos-containing materials and provides protection against legal recourse. If someone is harmed due to exposure to asbestos on your property, they may seek legal action against you.
However, suppose you have conducted an asbestos survey and taken appropriate measures to manage or remove ACMs. In that case, you can demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to protect individuals from harm. This can help protect you against legal recourse and ensure that you are compliant with relevant regulations.
It is important to note that an asbestos survey is not a one-time event. Asbestos-containing materials can deteriorate over time, and new materials may be discovered during renovations or repairs. It is a requirement to regularly review and update your asbestos register and management plan to ensure that all risks are appropriately managed.
3. An asbestos survey is a valuable workplace tool
An asbestos survey is a valuable workplace tool for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures the safety of workers by identifying any ACMs that may pose a risk of exposure. By identifying these risks, appropriate asbestos management services can be used for asbestos removal, thereby reducing the risk of harm to workers.
Secondly, an asbestos survey boosts the morale of the workplace. Showing initiative towards providing a safe workplace instils confidence in those who work under you. Demonstrating that you care about everyone’s health and safety rather than just the bottom line will promote a happier and more productive workforce.
Thirdly, an asbestos survey can also save workplaces money by identifying potential hazards before they become more severe and costly to manage. By identifying ACMs early, appropriate measures can be taken to manage or remove them, reducing the risk of expensive legal battles and compensation claims resulting from worker exposure.
4. An asbestos survey provides quality assurance
Quality assurance is critical in ensuring that products, services, and processes meet the required standards and specifications. An asbestos survey is a proactive approach that aims to prevent problems before they occur and ensure the overall quality of products and services.
An asbestos survey provides quality assurance that products ending up in the consumer’s hands are safe from asbestos contamination. Products produced or stored in a facility without an asbestos survey are at serious risk of contamination by asbestos fibres. Mechanical disturbances and general deterioration of asbestos materials are especially prevalent for warehouses and factories that lack an asbestos register and management plan.
Workplaces providing services that invite the public in, such as restaurants, gyms or hotels, must be especially conscious of the quality of the environment in which they provide for their guests. An asbestos survey ensures that the customers who partake in your services are safe from asbestos hazards.
5. An asbestos survey prevents construction hold-ups
There are two types of asbestos surveys. A division 5 asbestos survey is a non-intrusive, visual inspection of accessible areas to determine if ACMs are present, and a division 6 asbestos survey is an invasive asbestos survey involving destructive assessment methods.
The division 6 asbestos survey is integral in preventing construction hold-ups and is a requirement if your construction, demolition, or renovation is in Victoria (under the OHS 2017).
A division 6 asbestos survey can eliminate construction hold-ups by identifying potential issues before work begins. If ACMs are identified, a plan can be implemented to safely manage or remove them, ensuring the construction work can proceed without delays or interruptions.
Construction work must be halted if ACMs are discovered during the project. This can cause significant delays, cost overruns, and frustration for all parties involved. Conducting a division 6 asbestos survey is the best way to prevent this blunder.
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