We’ve noticed some confusion about whether PCBUs need to identify asbestos in the workplace or whether they have until 4 April 2018 to identify it.
If your workplace was built before 1 January 2000, you have until 4 April 2018 to put an asbestos management plan (AMP) in place. We recommend appointing an “owner” of the AMP who is trained to maintain it.
The AMP sets out how the identified or presumed ACM will be managed, and must be made available to PCBUs and workers who intend to, or have already carried out work on the premises. It must include:
- Information about the location and condition of any asbestos-containing materials identified in or on the premises, including where there are signs and labels.
- How identified asbestos will be managed (e.g. remove it, encapsulate it with a false wall or paint, leave it alone as it is in good condition, etc.)
- A timetable for managing asbestos exposure risks (e.g. priorities and dates for removal, reviews, circumstances and activities that could affect the timing of action, such as a planned refurbishment)
- How asbestos risks (including presumed asbestos) will be managed (e.g. safe work procedures and control measures)
- Procedures for managing incidents or emergencies involving asbestos
- Information about the workers carrying out the work, including:
- Information and training that has been or will be provided
- Roles and responsibilities
- Health monitoring.
Ideally, the management plan will be informed by an asbestos management survey, undertaken by a person holding a P402 Asbestos Surveying qualification.
The requirement to identify asbestos in the workplace came into force with the Asbestos regulations on 4 April 2016. If you don’t know what you’ve got, you must assume asbestos is present unless you have strong grounds for believing otherwise.
The purpose of the asbestos management survey is to identify the presence and condition of asbestos, as far as is reasonably practicable. Based on the results, the surveyor will recommend what action needs to be taken to keep people safe which, as noted above, should be included in the AMP.
The Approved Code of Practice for the Management and Removal of Asbestos details what must be in the asbestos management plan. If you would like some help, give MCG a call on 0800 44 00 70.