The removal of asbestos containing material requires specialist contractors who have been trained for the specific task at hand. These might be competent people, Class B removalists or Class A removalists. Please see my earlier articles to see the differences between these contractors.
Different asbestos removal jobs will require different sets of tools and equipment to be used. Here are some of the more commonly used items:
Hazardous Dust & Asbestos Vacuum
These are specifically designed vacuums that have a HEPA (High-efficiency particulate absorption) filter with a high filtration efficiency. Unlike your household vacuum, these vacuums are designed to be capable of capturing even the most minute fibres that would otherwise be ejected back into the air by regular vacuums.
These units are normally found attached to the opening of an asbestos removal enclosure. It has a number of different stages internally to allow the workers to get changed and shower. The shower runoff is also attached to a filtration unit and water management system.
Negative Pressure Air Units (NPU)
These units are designed to create a pressure differential inside an asbestos removal enclosure and the area surrounding it. This allows for any airborne dust generated from the removal to remain within the enclosure.
Enclosures and Asbestos Waste Bags
These are 200 micron thick polymer material designed to prevent any asbestos fibres from escaping. The asbestos waste bags are normally marked as such with a warning. The enclosures, however, need to be constructed are sealed tight in order allow for a pressure differential generated by the NPU.
Asbestos air monitoring is required during friable asbestos removal work to ensure that there are no detectable levels of asbestos fibres in the air.
While other removal jobs may consist of any number of these items, it was always best to ensure that the contractors you’ve hired are well trained and capable of using the most appropriate equipment for the job.
Author: Dennis Clemence
Dennis is a Property Risk Assessor at Safe Environments conducting inspections and assessments of asbestos and hazardous building materials. Dennis completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forensic Science at the University of Western Sydney. An action and initiative driven person Dennis has strong communication skills and has provided his time volunteering at a local Community Legal Centre to assist Solicitors in providing legal advice to clients. He has conducted a toxicological audits based on the GHS and Safe Work Australia advising on the general storage, handling and disposal of the various chemicals.