Hazardous building materials found within buildings may pose a significant risk to the health of occupants.

These hazardous materials may include Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM); Synthetic Mineral Fibres (SMF); Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB); Lead Paint; and Ozone Depleting Substances.

Safe Environments is a Type A inspection body accredited by NATA (accreditation No: 17139) and complies with the requirements of AS/NZS ISO.IEC 17020 (2000) for the inspection of hazardous materials (HazMat) including asbestos.

Safe Environments Hazardous Materials (HazMat) inspection reports are produced in accordance with the requirements of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC:2018(2005)].

Safe Environments undertakes three types of hazardous materials inspections accredited by NATA, including: 

  • Type 1 - Location and assessment hazardous materials inspections (Presumptive HazMat Inspections)
  • Type 2 - Location and assessment hazardous materials inspections (Sampling HazMat Inspections)
  • Type 3 - Full access sampling and identification hazardous materials inspections (pre demolition/major refurbishment HazMat Inspections)

Type 1 and 2 HazMat inspections are for management of hazardous materials during normal occupation whereas Type 3 HazMat inspections are for demolitions and major refurbishments generally required for council requirements.

Hazardous Materials Management Inspections and Surveys

Hazardous materials management inspections and surveys are conducted by a qualified HazMat consultant who will identify as far as is reasonably practicable, materials that are likely to contain hazardous materials. The hazardous materials are listed within a hazardous materials register, which includes a risk assessment, location and representative photos. 

Not all suspected materials will contain asbestos. Depending on the type of building, age and construction, commonly about 40% - 80% of samples will contain asbestos. While sampling inspections are more expensive initially due to the expense of asbestos testing, sampling asbestos inspections are more cost effective in the long term as those materials, which do not contain asbestos can be treated as not being a risk, saving money in maintenance, repair and eventual demolition.

Hazardous Materials Refurbishment and Demolition Inspections and Surveys

Refurbishment and demolition HazMat inspections and surveys are carried out to identify and remove hazardous materials to eliminate the risk of exposure to workers and the surrounding environment. Refurbishment and demolition HazMat inspections are required even when management inspections have been carried out. Refurbishment and demolition hazardous materials inspections will also inspect within the building fabric to find hidden materials in wall cavities. This involves partial destruction of the finishes whilst the building is not occupied, prior to the actual demolition or refurbishment.

Hazardous Materials Management Plans

A hazardous materials management plan clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of an organisation to reduce the potential for related health effects to hazardous materials. A HazMat management plan involves a systematic process to: identify hazardous materials; assess the risk of hazardous materials; and control the risk of exposure to hazardous materials.

Ongoing Hazardous Materials Management

Formal HazMat management plans are then required to cleanly identify the roles and responsibilities within the organisation and will generally include organisational responsibilities; health effects of hazardous materials; minimum legislative requirements; priority risk assessments; maintenance; removal; labelling; training; clearance certificates; emergency procedures; regular HazMat inspections; and review of the management process.

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