In business, it’s crucial to have a plan. Plans give you the direction and guidance you need for whatever situation you may face in trying to achieve your goals. When it comes to asbestos management, having a plan is just as crucial.
The Asbestos Management Plan
So what is an asbestos management plan, and why should your business have one?
An asbestos management plan (AMP) is a plan of action that clearly identifies the exact location of any asbestos-containing materials in the vicinity, their condition, who is responsible for managing them, how you plan to manage the asbestos risks (if any), and other relevant details. This is written in hard copy or electronic form, and duly disseminated to those involved.
There are three main reasons why an AMP is particularly important for businesses:
Avoiding High Risks
The first and foremost reason why your business should have an AMP is to ensure that you are completely safe from the health risks that come with the presence of asbestos in your work area. Asbestos is a highly dangerous and life-threatening substance, still killing thousands of workers every year despite widespread awareness and available identification, testing and removal services.
The second reason why your business should have an AMP is that business are legally bound to have one. If you don’t have an AMP in place, not only will your workers be at risk of serious and fatal asbestos-related illnesses; your business will also be at risk of getting fined or worse, getting reported or sued for not protecting workers from hazards in the workplace.
You will need an AMP if any of these statements are true:
- You are responsible for the maintenance of your building or facilities
- Your building was built before the year 2000
- Your building is a brownfield site, or had a previous development on it (unless there is proof that the site has no asbestos on it)
- You have equipment manufactured before the year 2000, such as ovens, fire blankets and sound-proofing, as these may contain asbestos
Education and Preparedness
When faced with dangerous or unknown elements, people tend to panic and make mistakes. The same thing happens when they catch wind of possible asbestos in their building. People can automatically assume that their health and lives are in danger, or that any and all asbestos present must immediately be removed.
With an AMP in place, people will know exactly what they should do when asbestos is detected and minimise any unnecessary panic or poorly thought-out decisions and actions. For instance, contrary to popular belief asbestos does not necessarily have to be removed at all times. If it is in good, undisturbed condition and is in a location where it is unlikely to be disturbed, it can remain where it is. Sometimes in cases like these removal will prove to be riskier and more expensive than just leaving it be. However, it is still imperative to have the risk assessed before making any decision involving the asbestos-containing material.
Your Next Move
So you need a plan, now what? The next steps you need to take are:
- Have a specialist assess the asbestos in your building
- Write a plan for asbestos management
- Put that plan to action
If you need help in coming up with an AMP for your business, let the experts here at Asbestos Check assist you. We have professional and licensed asbestos assessors and asbestos removalists who can efficiently identify asbestos in your area and enable you to come up with the most ideal AMP. Get started by calling Asbestos Check today on 02 9621 3706.