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Asbestos obligations of the employer

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EMPLOYERS have a duty to provide a safe place of work.

The NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 requires an employer to take reasonable care to identify foreseeable hazards including asbestos, and to assess the risk posed by those hazards.

According to Getex , an asbestos hazard management company, the employer is to eliminate or control those risks and is to provide instruction, training and information, personal protective equipment, supervision, and any other appropriate measure.

In addition to obligations placed on an employer, the regulation places requirements on controllers of premises with respect to asbestos.

A controller of premises must ensure that:

a) A register, in which the type, condition and location of all asbestos and asbestos containing material in any place of work is recorded, is prepared and maintained, and

b) Any action taken to control asbestos and asbestos-containing material in the place of work or in plant at the place of work is recorded in the register, including details of:

i. any assessment concerning the asbestos that took place before the work was carried out, and

ii. if the work was carried out by a contractor rather than by an employee of the controller, the name of the person who carried out the work, and

iii. the date on which the work was carried out

c) All occupiers of the place of work are provided with a copy of the register and all updates to it.

The maximum penalty for disregarding the regulations is Level 3 - 100 Penalty Units or $11,000.

Premises is defined as any place, including any land, building, vehicle, vessel, aircraft, tent or movable structure, or any installation floating on water or on the bed of any waters - that is, anywhere.

The Asbestos Register must comply with the requirements of the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission (NOHSC) Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos [NOHSC:2002 (2005)] and the Code of Practice for the Management of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC:2018 (2005)].

Getex can undertake an asbestos materials survey and prepare an Asbestos Register.

An Asbestos Register prepared by Getex will constitute an Asbestos Register to the requirements of the Act and conform to the requirements of the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission. The register can be in electronic form.

Getex can project manage the removal of asbestos materials. The company can provide full project management services for the removal of asbestos-containing materials, including:

* Asbestos removal plan and tender documents preparation

* NATA accredited asbestos in air monitoring in accordance with the Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Fibres [NOHSC:3003 (2005)]

* Supervision of the removal

* Clearance inspections and sign off reports.

With this service the asset manager can ensure they have exercised diligence in accordance with the legislation.

Getex also provides additional services such as asbestos management plans, workplace awareness training, manuals and system.

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