Safe Environments provides a comprehensive range of solutions for those managing a large property portfolio or requiring assistance during a home renovation in Canberra or the ACT.

An asbestos check with Safe Environments provides cost effective and timely solutions through asbestos identification, inspections and surveys; asbestos testing and analysis; asbestos risk assessments; asbestos control measures; asbestos removal project management; and asbestos re-inspection and management. 

Asbestos Identification, Inspections & Surveys

Safe Environments asbestos consultants are licensed by the ACT Planning & Land Authority and will review the relevant asbestos legislation required for compliance and undertake an inspection of the building. The asbestos inspection provides identification of asbestos containing materials (ACM), generation of asbestos register and a report meeting Canberra and ACT asbestos requirements.

Asbestos Testing & Analysis

Safe Environments asbestos consultants will conduct asbestos testing to confirm and identify the type of asbestos within a material. Onsite asbestos air monitoring provides quantitative asbestos analysis to test if there are respirable asbestos fibres in the air.

Asbestos Risk Assessment

Safe Environments asbestos consultants provide a comprehensive risk assessment based on the Health and Safety Executive material assessment and priority assessment algorithms. Quantitative risk assessments are conducted by asbestos air testing.

Asbestos Control Measures

After an asbestos inspection, Safe Environments asbestos consultants provide action plans formulated to minimise asbestos health risks. Control measures include asbestos awareness training, labelling asbestos materials, annual asbestos audits, developing safe systems of work and contractor management.

Asbestos Removal Project Management

Safe Environments can engage asbestos removal companies on behalf of the client to save them time, money and effort involved with the complexity of asbestos removal. Additionally, these asbestos consultants can provide Reassurance and Clearance Air testing after removal for safe re-occupation of properties.

Asbestos Re-Inspection and Management

While the ultimate goal is for all Canberra and ACT workplaces to be free of asbestos containing materials, however, this is not reasonably practicable in most situations. An Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) clearly defines the procedures and responsibilities of those who have control of the potential asbestos hazard in the workplace and provides periodic asbestos inspections, asbestos air monitoring and asbestos risk assessments.

Asbestos Emergency Procedures

The provision of emergency procedures is essential for buildings with asbestos, in the event of asbestos material being damaged or in the event of a fire. Safe Environments will assist the client during the first critical stages of an emergency to contain, quantify and decontaminate, getting their business back to work.

Identifying asbestos in Canberra & ACT

Identifying asbestos by engaging an asbestos consultant licensed by the ACT Planning & Land Authority asbestos surveyor or asbestos consultant is an important check on the property to ensure that the risk of asbestos related illness is minimised. 

A good understanding of building codes and construction techniques will assist in identifying potential asbestos containing materials as asbestos was used within building materials primarily due to the fibres providing superior fire resistance and heat insulation. A qualified asbestos consultant or surveyor should be employed to confirm if the material contains asbestos, conduct a risk assessment and record the results within an asbestos register. 

The following list will assist in identifying where asbestos products may be found:

Fibre cement sheet eaves, ceilings, walls, gables and fascia; fibre cement sheet packing and capping materials under structural supports and roof tiles; vinyl floor tiles; compressed fibre cement sheet floors; corrugated roof sheets; sealants to movement joints and air condition duct work; roof membranes; moulded cement water pipes; moulded asbestos lining to telephone pits; moulded cistern tanks; pipe lagging; heater and boiler insulation; heater and boiler insulation; flange gaskets to pipes; ceiling tiles; insulation and sheeting to fire doors; electrical backing boards; spandrel panels underneath windows; spray applied fire rating material to ceiling and structural beams; sound dampener underneath the kitchen sink; window putty; pointing work between brickwork; and millboard insulation to air conditioning reheating elements.

Asbestos management plans in Canberra & ACT

The purpose of an asbestos management plan is to assist Canberra & ACT property owners avoid exposure to airborne asbestos fibres while asbestos containing material remains in the workplace. The ultimate goal is for all Canberra & ACT workplaces to be free of asbestos containing materials; however this is not reasonably practicable in most situations. An asbestos management plan to comply with ACT legislation must clearly define the procedures and responsibilities of those who have control, or to make aware of the potential asbestos hazard in Canberra & ACT workplaces.

The initial step in developing an asbestos management plan is to engage an asbestos consultant to undertake an asbestos inspection or survey. 

The asbestos survey involves a visual inspection of the accessible areas of the building and collecting suspected samples of asbestos materials that are then analysed by a NATA accredited laboratory. An assessment of the risk to health is then carried out on the confirmed asbestos materials. Labels should also be affixed to the asbestos containing materials to warn people of the potential asbestos hazard. 

If the asbestos containing material poses a health risk based on the activities being undertaken in the current condition, suitable control measures are required to be implemented. This may include restriction of access to the area if there is a risk to health from exposure, then removal of the asbestos containing materials by a licensed contractor. 

The periodic review of asbestos inspections and surveys should be outlined in the asbestos management plan. The asbestos management plan should incorporate procedures for asbestos removal and maintenance and service work that is likely to disturb asbestos containing materials. This can be part of the induction process and viewed at the contractors’ sign-in area.

Asbestos registers in Canberra & ACT

An asbestos register required by Canberra and ACT law is a document that contains information on Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) within a building likely to contain asbestos. An asbestos register in Canberra and the ACT should be held onsite for buildings that contain asbestos to comply with ACT legislation requirements. The asbestos register uses risk management principles by: Identifying asbestos containing materials within Canberrra and ACT workplaces; Assessing the risk to health for each asbestos instance identified; and, Recommending measures to control the risk to health if required.

The identification of asbestos for the Canberra & ACT compliant asbestos register involves a combination of visual inspection of the accessible areas of the building and the collection of materials suspected of containing asbestos for testing. The suspected asbestos samples are then tested by a NATA accredited laboratory. The results of the inspection are tabulated in an asbestos register to include: location of the asbestos containing material; asbestos composition and type through mineralogical analysis and the material friability; risk to health based on the condition, potential disturbance and occupancy level; and recommendations to control or further minimise risk to occupant health.

An asbestos register should be reviewed on a yearly basis, or sooner if the material has been disturbed or removed to assess the risk to health. The asbestos register should be integrated within an asbestos management plan. 

Types of asbestos inspections

Asbestos inspections are required for buildings likely to contain asbestos. ACT legislation requires asbestos inspections to be conducted in all buildings suspected of containing asbestos materials. However, not all asbestos inspections are the same. The type of asbestos inspections during occupation will be different to the type of asbestos inspections required before renovations. 

Safe Environments provide three types of asbestos inspections that include location and assessment asbestos inspections (Type 1 & 2) along with demolition asbestos inspections (Type 3).

Type 1 - Location and assessment asbestos inspections (presumptive asbestos inspections)

Type 1 Presumptive Asbestos Inspections are undertaken by identifying suspected asbestos materials without taking samples. The Type 1 asbestos inspection presumes that the material contains asbestos. The presumptive asbestos inspection reduces the cost by deferring asbestos testing before demolition or refurbishment. A risk assessment based on the material condition is tabulated as part of an asbestos register compliant with Canberra & ACT asbestos legislation. 

Type 2 - Location and assessment asbestos inspections (sampling asbestos inspections)

Type 2 Sampling Asbestos Inspections are similar to Type 1 presumptive asbestos inspections; however, representative samples of the suspected asbestos containing material are collected for asbestos testing. Asbestos testing at the time of asbestos inspections generally save expense in the longer term as special precautions and expensive maintenance procedures are not required if no asbestos is detected in the material.

Type 3 - Full access sampling and identification asbestos inspections (pre demolition/major refurbishment asbestos inspections)

Type 3 Demolition Asbestos Inspections provide the location of the asbestos within the building for removal before demolition. Demolition asbestos inspections are intended to partially comply with the hazardous materials auditing procedure (clause 1.6) of AS 2601 Demolition of Structures. The demolition asbestos inspection includes inspections of wall cavities and other areas not accessible when the building was occupied.

The results of asbestos inspections are tabulated within an asbestos register and are an essential part of an asbestos management plan. Asbestos inspections should be conducted on an annual basis, or sooner if the asbestos containing material has been disturbed or removed, to reassess the potential risk to health.

Asbestos Check provides commercial and domestic clients with extensive asbestos inspection services including asbestos identification, testing, inspection and management.