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Is there asbestos on your worksite?

July 26, 2020

On 9 July 2020, the ACT Government passed new laws that expanded the power of WorkSafe ACT to allow them to issue a notice regarding the presence of asbestos, known as a prohibited asbestos notice and impose penalties for non-compliance. Penalties range from up to $500,000 for companies and $100,000 for individuals.

The notice must include details regarding the basis of the belief that asbestos may be present, details of the prohibited asbestos (location, type and condition of asbestos), directions relating to the removal of the asbestos, including in relation to the management or removal of the prohibited asbestos and the timeframe in which it is required to be removed. An extension of time may be granted to comply with the notice.

Members should be aware that all asbestos removal work must be carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist except when the work is only 'minor or routine maintenance work’. Further, WorkSafe ACT must be informed of the asbestos removal work 5 days prior to the removal and required to prepare an asbestos removal control plan (method of removal, tools, equipment, and personal protective equipment to be used).

Members with management or control of a workplace must assume the presence of asbestos if an approved warning sign is present (this will be the case if the premises was built before 1985 and is known to have contained loose fill asbestos).

See the Access Canberra website for further information.

Contact a HIA Workplace Adviser

1300 650 620