Asbestos audits are a critical component of maintaining safety in buildings and facilities across Brisbane. With the prevalence of asbestos in older constructions, it is essential to understand the process and regulations that govern asbestos audits in Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
Are Asbestos Audits Required In Brisbane?
In Brisbane, asbestos audits are an essential part of property management, especially for older buildings. They are required to identify and manage asbestos-containing materials (ACM), ensuring the safety of inhabitants and workers. An asbestos audit in Brisbane is not just a recommendation but often a legal requirement for many older properties.
Who Can Conduct Asbestos Audits in Brisbane?
An asbestos audit in Brisbane must be conducted by a qualified and experienced professional. This person should have the necessary training and certification to identify asbestos and assess the associated risks. The accuracy and legality of an asbestos audit in Brisbane hinge on the auditor’s competency. It’s important to engage an expert like Global Asbestos Audits to guide you through the process.
What Regulations Govern the Reporting Process for Asbestos Audits in Brisbane?
The reporting process for an asbestos audit in Brisbane is governed by regulations set forth by WorkSafe Queensland. These regulations ensure that audits are conducted systematically and the findings are reported accurately for the effective management of asbestos-related risks.
Risk Management Recommendations by WorkSafe Queensland
1. Identify the Hazard
The first step in an asbestos audit in Brisbane is to identify the presence of asbestos or ACM. Professionals conduct thorough inspections per the guidelines outlined in the How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace Code of Practice 2011.
2. Assess the Risk
Upon identifying asbestos, the auditor assesses the risk, particularly the potential for exposure to airborne asbestos. This assessment considers the condition of the asbestos, its location, and the likelihood of disturbance. Asbestos in good condition poses a relatively low risk compared to damaged or deteriorating asbestos.
3. Control the Risk
Based on the risk assessment, appropriate control measures are implemented. This can range from removing asbestos to isolation strategies such as encapsulation. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is also crucial in minimising risks.
4. Review Risk Controls
Regular review of the control measures is necessary to ensure ongoing effectiveness. This includes updating asbestos management plans and registers at least every five years. The “How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks Code of Practice 2021” provides a comprehensive framework for this process.
In addition to the Risk Management process, reporting during an asbestos audit will likely require the creation of an asbestos register.
Maintenance and Accessibility of an Asbestos Register in the Workplace
Individuals responsible for managing a workplace must create and maintain an asbestos register for that location. This register should comprehensively document the presence or potential presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACM) at the site.
Circumstances Exempting the Need for an Asbestos Register:
An asbestos register is not mandatory in Queensland if the following conditions are met:
- The building in question was constructed after December 31, 1989.
- There is no known presence of asbestos within the workplace.
- It is unlikely that asbestos will be found on the premises in the future.
However, as part of the asbestos reporting process, it’s crucial to explicitly state in the register when no asbestos or ACM is discovered or expected at the workplace.
Updating and Accessing the Asbestos Register:
The asbestos register should be current and easily accessible to employees and visitors. Regular reviews are mandatory, at least every five years, or sooner under certain conditions, such as:
- Any disturbance, encapsulation, sealing, or removal of asbestos or ACM.
- The discovery of additional asbestos or ACM in the workplace.
- Any revisions to the site’s asbestos management plan.
Handover of the Asbestos Register:
In events where workplace control is transferred, the outgoing manager must, to the best of their ability, pass the asbestos register to the incoming party assuming responsibility. This ensures continuity in the management and safety protocols regarding asbestos at the workplace.
Asbestos audits in Brisbane are a complex and necessary process for ensuring safety and compliance. It involves expert surveys, documentation via an asbestos audit and register, and ongoing asbestos management. With the significant health risks associated with asbestos exposure, the importance of a thorough asbestos audit in Brisbane cannot be overstated. It is not just about meeting regulatory requirements but ensuring the well-being of everyone who comes into contact with the building.
With years of experience and the cumulation of expert knowledge, Global Asbestos Audits is well-positioned to guide you through the reporting process during an asbestos audit in Brisbane or anywhere else in Australia.