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Testing For Asbestos

What is the Method of Testing For Asbestos?

Testing for asbestos in Australian workplaces is critical for the safety and health of employees and the public. Once widely used in construction, asbestos is now known to be a hazardous material that poses serious health risks if not properly managed. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of the testing method for asbestos, particularly focusing on workplaces within Australia.

The Importance of Testing for Asbestos

Testing for asbestos is essential because it’s the only reliable method to identify if building materials in your workplace contain this hazardous substance. Whether in older buildings for compliance or during renovations, testing for asbestos ensures that safety measures can be taken to protect everyone’s health.

Accredited Testing for Asbestos

To confirm the presence of asbestos in workplace materials, samples must be tested by an accredited laboratory following the Australian Standard AS 4964. This standard is vital as it outlines the method of testing for asbestos, ensuring accuracy and reliability in the results.

The Process of Testing for Asbestos

Testing for asbestos involves several detailed steps to accurately identify the presence of asbestos fibres. Initially, a stereo microscope detects and identifies fibres in a bulk sample. Following this, a Polarising Light Microscope (PLM) examines the fibres to confirm their crystalline structure and refractive indices, which are indicative of asbestos fibres.

Types of Asbestos Identified

The results from testing for asbestos can determine the presence of various types of asbestos, such as Chrysotile, Amosite, or Crocidolite. Alternatively, the test may confirm that no Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is present. Knowing the type of asbestos found is crucial for planning appropriate removal or mitigation strategies.

NATA Accreditation

Testing For Asbestos

When choosing a laboratory for testing for asbestos, ensure it is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). NATA endorsement is required by most state and commonwealth legislation, which underscores the laboratory’s compliance with high standards and ensures the reliability of the testing results.

Air Testing for Asbestos

Asbestos Air Testing and Air Monitoring

In addition to material testing, air testing for asbestos is also conducted to measure the concentration of asbestos fibres in the air. This form of testing is essential during asbestos removal work, or whenever asbestos might become disturbed to assess exposure levels and the effectiveness of control measures.

Procedure of Air Testing for Asbestos

Air testing for asbestos involves using pumps to draw air through a filter, which is then examined under a Phase Contrast Microscope (PCM). The protocol specifies that only fibres longer than five microns and thinner than three microns are considered in the assessment, ensuring a focused and accurate evaluation of air quality.

Testing for asbestos in workplaces is a rigorous and scientifically supported process guided by Australian standards and protocols. It is vital for maintaining safe work environments and preventing health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Whether through bulk fibre identification or air quality assessments, testing for asbestos plays a critical role in occupational health and safety in Australia.

Employing the services of a NATA-accredited laboratory for testing for asbestos ensures that your workplace complies with regulatory standards and provides a safe environment for all occupants. Remember, the health risks of asbestos are significant, and professional testing is the first step in managing these risks effectively.

How Global Asbestos Audits Can Help

Testing For Asbestos

Global Asbestos Audits specialises in providing comprehensive asbestos testing and consultancy services to ensure your workplace is safe and compliant with Australian health and safety regulations. By leveraging our expertise and using NATA-accredited laboratories for testing for asbestos, we offer reliable identification and assessment of asbestos-containing materials.

Our team guides you through the entire testing process for asbestos, from initial surveys to detailed reporting and advice on managing any identified asbestos. We also offer tailored solutions for ongoing monitoring and management, ensuring your workplace meets and exceeds safety standards. 

Trust Global Asbestos Audits to handle all your asbestos testing needs with professionalism and precision, safeguarding your health and that of your employees.

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