The scourge of asbestos is an on-going health hazard that is being dealt with continuously by licenced contractors. But if you are a DIY type of person who enjoys working on your home, you should use care when faced with any materials you’re unsure of.
The New South Wales Government have created a website that tells you all you need to know about working around asbestos. They have also issued a factsheet that quickly explains how to work safely around asbestos.
Asbestos is classified into two separate categories:
Friable asbestos material is any asbestos material that can be reduced to a crumbled or powder state by hand pressure.
Bonded asbestos material is any material that contains asbestos, like insulation or concrete.
Dealing with Asbestos Removal and Disposal
Although asbestos in a bonded form are considered relatively safe if left alone, if those materials are damaged in any way, they become a hazard that needs to be dealt with. The most important considerations in dealing with the removal and disposal of asbestos are:
Only contractors that have a Class A (friable) asbestos removal licence are permitted to be hired for the purposes of asbestos removal. The list of these licenced contractors close to you can be found clicking the icon of your area on this website.
Every homeowner who hires a licensed contractor to dispose of asbestos is still legally responsible for the safe and lawful disposal of the asbestos. So make sure that your contractor issues you with a complete receipt for their services.
The Proper Work Methods to Remove and Dispose of Asbestos
The contractor who is licenced to perform asbestos removal and disposal work will know the legal and proper procedures to use when working around asbestos.
The first order of business is to obtain a workplace health and safety certificate before any asbestos removal work can take place.
They will always wear protective equipment and post public notifications that the worksite is an asbestos removal area.
There are certain tools and methods of working with asbestos that are prohibited because of their tendency to produce airborne fibrous particles. Your licenced contractor will know what tools and work methods are prohibited.
They will provide air-monitoring equipment to ensure that the safety measures are being followed and the air around the work place is free of asbestos fibres.
Hire a Contractor who is Licenced to Handle Asbestos
Above all, the licenced contractor will ensure that all laws are followed within the scope of the asbestos removal and disposal work. All required government paperwork is filled out properly and submitted to the proper government departments. In addition, they will ensure that all certificates giving you the authority to commence with the asbestos work have been obtained.
By hiring a contractor who is licenced to perform this potentially dangerous work, you can rest assured that it is being carried out legally, professionally and properly.