Under the Safework NSW Code of Practice, if your workplace premises was built before 2004 and asbestos containing material (ACM) has been identified, you must maintain a register of it and implement a written asbestos management plan (AMP).
An AMP is designed to meet your legal obligations under the code, and details the location of any asbestos, reasons for decisions regarding the management of it, and procedures in the event of an incident or emergency.
It must be kept current, be made available to workers, and be reviewed every five years.
Achieving duty of care
Under the Work Health and Safety Act and Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, an employer must maintain a safe working environment.
To achieve a duty of care, an AMP:
- Identifies the people responsible for managing asbestos.
- Recommends training programs, responsibilities and workshops.
- Implements a safe work policy for everyone on the work site.
Defining clear responsibilities
Depending on the size of your organisation, responsibility for asbestos management might fall to a group of people or an individual. A carefully designed plan:
- Assigns processes for incidents and emergencies to employees.
- Provides detailed procedures.
- Includes safety checklists.
- Details asbestos safety training.
While workplaces vary in structure, clearly identifying a person whose role is to manage asbestos enables the development of systems that work.
Avoiding critical incidents
Having a working and regularly audited plan that assesses and controls risk helps to reduce the likelihood of critical incidents.
The plan can incorporate measures, such as:
- Determining exposure through air monitoring.
- Including a review timetable for the plan and asbestos register to ensure it is up-to-date.
Providing information to tradespeople
A recent survey by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) found 91% of tradespeople saw asbestos registers as a major factor in the way they carry out their work.
An AMP outlines the necessary precautions tradespeople need to take in your workplace, as well as describing the processes for:
- Notifying tradespeople of the location of the current register.
- Communicating where they are likely to encounter asbestos in the workplace.
Implementing an AMP starts with an asbestos inspection of the workplace to identify the location of any ACM. Contact us to arrange one today.