To assess the relative ability of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) to release fibres into the air based on its present condition, friability, and accessibility should they be disturbed.
In doing so, it is recommended that a survey must as far as practicable and at minimum, locate and record any presumed or known ACMs; inspect and record the accessibility and condition of any presumed or known ACMs; and determine and record the asbestos type, in order to manage the risk.
It must also satisfy The NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001. Under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety ACT 2000, an employer is required to take reasonable care to identify foreseeable hazards including asbestos, and to assess the risk posed by those hazards.
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 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.
The Asbestos Register must comply with the requirements of the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission (NOHSC- now the Office of the Australian Safety & Compensation Council), the 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) ].
As per the NSW OHS Regulation 2001, a competent person is required to prepare Asbestos/Hazardous Materials Surveys, Asbestos/Hazardous Substances Management Plans, Asbestos Air Monitoring and Asbestos Clearance Inspections.
A competent person preparing the above documents should have:
- Demonstrated years of experience in asbestos related issues
- Appropriate Qualifications
- Appropriate levels of Professional Indemnity Insurance, specifically mentioning asbestos
- A solid understanding of Asbestos Removal options and techniques of asbestos removal
- Specialised knowledge of Asbestos Air Sampling testing and interpretation of results-
- In general, consultants who are considered for major projects are NATA accredited for asbestos fibre counting and air volume measurement
- A solid understanding of Asbestos Clearance criteria and the epidemiology of asbestos related diseases
They can act as a competent person as defined by WorkCover NSW and should have significant knowledge: relating to the identification and removal of asbestos; air sample testing (conducted by a NATA registered laboratory) and interpretation of results; asbestos clearance criteria and the epidemiology of asbestos-related diseases.
Hence, an occupational hygienist or asbestos consultant not only obtains samples for identification but takes into consideration the consequences of disturbing asbestos. In general, it is unlikely that a person specialising in work as an architect or building inspector will also have the above related experience, knowledge or accreditation/s.
Persons acting as Occupational Hygienists, often have all the requirements necessary of acting as an Occupational Hygienist, however they may not undertake much work within the Asbestos Industry. It is recommended to visit the AIOH website and select Asbestos Consultant from the Consultant Search area and ask the hygienist for evidence of their experience.
Trained Asbestos Consultants employed by Getex can act as Competent Persons in accordance with the NOHSC: 3003 (2005) and NOHSC: 2002(2005) documents and OH&S Regulations 2001. Trained Asbestos Consultants employed by Getex are also members of Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH). Getex can offer specialist occupational hygiene advice, 24 hours/7 days a week. Getex have a laboratory accredited by NATA to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for asbestos fibre counting and air volume measurement. Getex carry full professional indemnity insurance for asbestos work.
The Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) was formed in 1980 and incorporated in Victoria in 1988. The overall objective of the Institute is to ensure that workplace health hazards are eliminated or controlled. It seeks to achieve this by:
- Promoting the profession of occupational hygiene in industry, government and the general community
- Improving the practice of occupational hygiene and the knowledge, competence and standing of its practitioners
- Providing a forum for the exchange of occupational hygiene information and ideas
- Promoting the application of occupational hygiene principles to improve and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for all
- Representing the profession nationally and internationally
- Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Inspections/Registers
- Asbestos Identification
- NATA accredited Airborne Asbestos Monitoring
- Asbestos Clearance Certificates
- Soil Investigations/Management
- Lead, Silica, Dusts, Petroleum Products, Solvents, Gases
- Air Monitoring and Sample Analysis
- Risk Assessments & Management Plans
- Removal/Treatment Work Plans
- Project Management and Supervision
- Workplace Training
- Site Contamination Assessments
- Soil/Waste Disposal Reports
- Soil/Water Testing
- Remedial Action Plans and Project Management/Supervision
- Validation Reports
- Pre-purchase/Due Diligence Reports
- Occupational Hygiene Services
- Airborne Contaminant Monitoring
- Health and Safety Assessments
- Confined Spaces Testing, Assessment and Management
- Indoor Air Quality Assessments
- OHS Management Systems, Plans and Audits
- Air & Water Quality
- Contaminant Monitoring
- Environmental Audits and Surveys