Because asbestos contains heat-resistant and good insulating properties, asbestos is very useful in building products. At home buildings and workplaces, asbestos testing is conducted to know whether the building or parts of the building contain asbestos or not. This is especially important to work health and safety because of the strong fibres that come with asbestos. When damaged or disturbed, asbestos fibres released into the air and inhaled can pose health risks and cause serious lung and chest lining diseases.
An asbestos register must be available when asbestos has been identified. It is a document, a fact sheet, that records the details as to where and which material in the building contains asbestos. Other details also include up-to-date information on the findings and analysis of the type and condition of the asbestos, date identified, and other information on the activities carried out to manage it.
Knowing the type and condition of the asbestos—whether friable or non-friable—is very important to know whether the material sustained damage or deterioration and whether the asbestos-containing material should be removed or repaired.
What is the difference between an asbestos register and an asbestos management plan?
The process by which how asbestos was managed or controlled is the asbestos management plan. Both asbestos register and asbestos management plan are required if your workplace or building was constructed before December 31, 2003, and if after asbestos testing and survey, asbestos has been identified.
Your asbestos management plan should come with preparation, maintenance, and control measures.
Here are important things to do when preparing management of asbestos:
- Know which parts of the building contain asbestos
- Decide what details should be stipulated in managing asbestos
- Create the procedures: checking, monitoring, updating information
- Identify management team and staff involved, especially those who can be at risk
- Identify safe work procedures and control measures
- Assign responsibilities for each activity and procedures set
When creating the management plan, how to identify asbestos may be the very first thing to do, but maintaining the control measures that come with it should be a priority.
The management plan has to be accessible by the staff and management team designated responsible for any action to the asbestos, either including asbestos removal, or parts of the building for demolition, renovation, or reconstruction.
Ensure that the management plan is up-to-date and is ready for use in cases of turnover or new management.
Training and code of practice
Workers carrying out any asbestos report and work should undergo training to avoid risks of exposure.
Asbestos management plan has to reviewed every five years. If your plan involves a routine check-up, ensure updated information as to whether it is effective enough. Also, include any incidents that occur within the timeframe you set for review.
Identifying, assessing, and managing the risks of exposure to asbestos is very important. Proper implementation of the asbestos register and management plan has to be set in place to minimise or eliminate the risks associated with airborne diseases. If you need professional help in identifying and dealing with asbestos at your workplace, contact professionals for asbestos testing and further information.