Asbestos Management Plan: Learn About the Regulation

An asbestos management plan assists people with the administration and control of buildings and other relevant structures and prevents exposure to airborne asbestos fibers by their employees and site guests. This person should take reasonable actions to label and record asbestos inside a register and inform everyone on the premises exactly where asbestos is existing, the consequences of exposure to asbestos, and other suitable measures.

asbestos management plan

The asbestos management plan should set out clear aims, stating what is going to be carried out, when it's going to be done, and how it's going to be applied. It must contain:
  • The workplace's register of asbestos
  • Details of upkeep or service work on the asbestos such as:
  1. Who performed the job
  2. The dates it was carried out
  3. The scope of the job
  4. Any clearance certificates (see clearance inspections, How you can Manage and Control Asbestos within the Workplace Code of Practice 2011
    • How people at risk of asbestos exposure are informed about asbestos in the workplace, the risks they face and the control measures in site
    • Choices about management options and the factors for these choices
    • A schedule for action, including main things and dates for reviewing risk assessments and specific circumstances that might affect the timetable
    • Monitoring arrangements
    • The people’s responsibilities elaborated in the plan
    • Training schedules for employees and contractors
    • A process for reviewing and updating the management plan and also the register of asbestos, such as a timetable
    • Secure work methods
    An asbestos management plan should be written about identified or assumed asbestos or ACM, and for asbestos, which occurred naturally at a place of work. The asbestos management plan should contain:
    • The identification of the asbestos or ACM (e.g. a reference or hyperlink to the asbestos register and location of signs and labels)
    • Choices and motives about asbestos management like safe work procedures and manage measures
    • Processes for dealing with emergencies or incidents about asbestos or ACM
    • Staffs carrying out work involving asbestos (e.g. consultation, info and training responsibilities).
    The plan should be readily accessible to workers and others in the workplace, kept up to date, and be reviewed a minimum of once each five years or sooner if:
    • A manage measure or the considered register
    • Asbestos is removed from, or disrupted, enclosed or sealed
    • The plan is not any longer adequate for handling asbestos or ACM at the workplace
    • A representative of health and safety requests an evaluation in particular circumstances
    There are transitional provisions to phase-in specifications for asbestos management plans where these are new for duty holders. Just like the transitional arrangement for asbestos registers, if an asbestos management plan was not needed under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008, an individual has till 1 January 2015 to comply with specifications about asbestos management plans in Part 8.3 of the WHS Regulation 2011. Specifications for an asbestos management plan where naturally occurring asbestos is identified or most likely to be present commenced on 1 January 2014.

    Under the WHS Act of 1995 (Qld), the Workplace Health & Safety Regulation 2008 (Qld) places significant requirements on owners of commercial buildings built under approval by the local government before 1 January 1990 (before 1 January 2012) for coping with Asbestos.

    However, since 1 January 2012, the model of Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld) will come into force. They are giving impact to the model of work health and safety laws developed by Safe Work Australia, and the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld) will be revoked by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld).

    The rules to deal with Asbestos apply to buildings used as a workplace, which is likely to be most commercial property.

    Asbestos Management Code

    If a commercial building was constructed under a local government confirmation given before 1 January 1990 (prior to 1 January 2012), or before 31 December 2003 (from 1 January 2012) and is used as a company, the owner must obey with the Asbestos Management Code (the founder ‘Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHC:2018(2005)]’).

    The Asbestos Management Program depends on a commercial building owner to:
    • Suspect all asbestos containing material (“ACM”) on the properties and obtain an Asbestos Inspection Report;
    • Develop an Asbestos Register of ACM, (since 1 January 2012 this is required even if no ACM is found); and
    • If ACM is suspected, develop an Asbestos Management Plan

    If you are a commercial building owner that was constructed below a local government approval before 1 January 1990 (before 1 January 2012) and before 31 December 2003 (from 1 January 2012) you have an agreement to comply with the Asbestos Management Code.

    If you have not met the terms, you should immediately ask for a suitably qualified person to handle an asbestos inspection and produce a written report complying with the Asbestos Management Code.

    Furthermore, should you intend to offer the whole or any part of the building for sale or lease you are obliged to:
    • Provide a copy of the present Asbestos Materials Report and Asbestos Register (including the Asbestos Management Plan) to the scheduled purchaser/lessee before a contract or lease is entered into;
    • If works are to be performed on a go forward basis under the Management Plan, inform you as to who is obliged to carry out those works; and
    • Provide copies of the Plan, Report, and Register to any contractors working within the building.
    Please note that tenants, managers, and personnel performing demolition and refurbishment work (not just owners) have a responsibility to comply with the current Asbestos Management Plan.

    Prior conditions will need to be involved in a sale contract or lease and copies provided to us for an addendum to the selling contract or lease to ensure compliance with these responsibilities. Moreover, if you are a building owner and already have a Management Plan in place, it is most important for you to pay serious attention to the contents to ensure that your conduct is consistent with it.

    There are significant consequences for breakdown to comply with obligations (with fines up to $60 000 or 6 years of incarceration) as well as liability for damages under suggested contracts of leases if these matters are not entirely and appropriately addressed.

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