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Asbestos notifications

The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Cth) require certain duty holders to give Comcare copies of health monitoring reports and notices of asbestos removal work, asbestos fibre levels and emergency demolition of structures containing asbestos, that meet certain criteria.

Notification of licensed asbestos removal work

Who has the duty to notify?

The licensed asbestos removalist has the duty to notify Comcare.

Five days before starting—written notification

Licensed asbestos removalists must notify Comcare in writing at least five days before starting licensed asbestos removal work (see sub regulation 466(1) ).

Who is a licensed asbestos removalist?

A licensed asbestos removalist is a person conducting a business or undertaking who is licensed under the WHS Regulations to carry out Class A (friable) or Class B (non-friable) asbestos removal work (see regulation 5).

This includes asbestos removalists who have been granted an asbestos removal licence by a State or Territory Regulator under any of the laws set out in regulation 6A of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, who will conduct licensed asbestos removal work at any workplace of the Commonwealth, a Commonwealth public authority or a non-Commonwealth licensee.

To notify by fax or email:

Unexpected events—immediate notification

Licensed asbestos removal work can start immediately if:

  1. There is a sudden and unexpected event that may cause persons to be exposed to respirable asbestos fibres, or
  2. An unexpected breakdown of an essential service that requires immediate rectification [see sub regulation 466 (2) ]

In either of these circumstances, the licensed asbestos removalist must give notice to the regulator immediately by telephone, and then in writing within 24 hours after notification by telephone.

Essential services mean the supply of:

  1. Gas, water, sewerage, telecommunications, electricity and similar services; or
  2. Chemicals, fuel and refrigerant in pipes or lines. (regulation 5).
  3. To notify Comcare immediately by telephone, call 1300 366 979.

To notify by fax or email(within 24 hours of the telephone call):

Requirements

The person completing the notification form should include as much information as possible about the asbestos work. Comcare requires the mandatory information marked with an asterisk (*) on the form. It will be possible to submit the form without mandatory fields being completed. However, mandatory information not included in the written notification will need to be provided in a subsequent written notification, before the asbestos work commences if the removal is not for an unexpected event.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations imposes strict timeframes for notifying Comcare of licensed asbestos work. Penalties apply.

If you are unsure about whether or how to submit a notification you should contact Comcare's WHS Helpdesk by e-mailing WHS.Help@comcare.gov.au or calling 1300 366 979 to obtain advice.

Need more help?

Notification of respirable asbestos fibre levels at more than 0.02 fibres/ml

Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011(Cth)—Regulation 420 states that a person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure as far as reasonably practicable, exposure of a person to airborne asbestos is eliminated. Regulation 476 specifies actions that must be taken by the licensed asbestos removalist if respirable asbestos fibre levels are recorded at more than 0.02 fibres/ml during asbestos removal work that requires a Class A asbestos removal licence. These actions include immediately notifying Comcare-see sub regulation 476(1)(b).

What does ‘immediately’ mean?

Immediately means there must be no delay between the licensed asbestos removalist becoming aware of the respirable asbestos fibre levels being recorded at more than 0.02 fibres/ml and the submission of a notification to Comcare.

Table 1: Air monitoring action levels

Action level ControlAction
Less than 0.01 fibres/ml No new control measures are necessary Continue with control measures

At 0.01 fibres/ml or more than 0.01 fibres/ml but less than or equal to 0.02 fibres/ml

1. Review Review control measures
2. Investigate Investigate the cause
3. Implement Implement controls to eliminate or minimise exposure and prevent further release

More than 0.02 fibres/ml

1. Stop removal work Stop removal work
2. Notify Comcare Notify Comcare by phone followed by fax or written statement that work has ceased and the results of the air monitoring
3. Investigate the cause Conduct a thorough visual inspection of the enclosure (if used) and associated equipment in consultation with all workers involved with the removal work
4. Implement controls to eliminate or minimise exposure and prevent further release Extend the isolated/barricaded area around the removal area/enclosure as far as reasonably practicable (until fibre levels are at or below 0.01 fibres/ml, wet wipe and vacuum the surrounding area, seal any identified leaks (e.g. with expandable foam or tape) and smoke test the enclosure until it is satisfactorily sealed.
5. Do not recommence removal work until further air monitoring is conducted Do not recommence until fibre levels are at or below 0.01 fibres/ml

Who has the duty to notify?

The licensed asbestos removalist has the duty to notify Comcare.

Who is a licensed asbestos removalist?

A licensed asbestos removalist is a person conducting a business or undertaking who is licensed under the WHS Regulations to carry out Class A (friable) or Class B (non-friable) asbestos removal work (regulation 5). This includes asbestos removalists who have been granted an asbestos removal licence by a State or Territory Regulator under any of the laws set out in regulation 6A of the Work Health and Safety Regulations (2011) Cth, who will conduct licensed asbestos removal work at any workplace of the Commonwealth, a Commonwealth public authority or a non-Commonwealth licensee.

How to notify

To notify immediately by telephone, call 1300 366 979.
To notify immediately by fax or email:

Requirements

The person notifying, or completing the notification form, should provide as much information as possible and attach a copy of the air monitoring report to any written notification.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations imposes strict timeframes for notifying Comcare of respirable asbestos fibre levels at more than 0.02 fibres/ml. Penalties apply.

If you are unsure about whether or how to submit a notification you should contact Comcare's WHS Helpdesk by e-mailing WHS.Help@comcare.gov.au or calling 1300 366 979 to obtain advice.

Need more help?

Notification of emergency demolition involving asbestos

Regulations 454 (must be taken if an emergency occurs at a workplace) and 455 (a domestic premises) specify the actions taken relating to a structure or plant at the workplace or premises that must be demolished as well as asbestos that is fixed to or installed in the structure or plant. These actions include giving immediate written notice to Comcare about the emergency, before the demolition commences.

What does immediate mean?

Immediate means there must be no delay between the duty holder becoming aware of the emergency and the need for a structure or plant that contain asbestos to be demolished, and the submission of a notification to Comcare.

Who has the duty to notify?

If the emergency has occurred at domestic premises, the person conducting the business or undertaking who is to carry out the demolition has the duty to notify Comcare.

If the emergency has occurred at a workplace other than domestic premises, the person with management or control of the workplace has the duty to notify Comcare.

How to notify

To notify immediately by fax or email:

Requirements

The person completing the written notification should provide as much information as possible about the emergency, the demolition and the nature of the asbestos fixed to or installed in the structure or plant.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations impose strict timeframes for notifying Comcare of emergency demolition involving asbestos. Notification must be given to Comcare in writing immediately after the duty holder becomes aware of the emergency, and before the demolition commences [see sub regulations 454(3) and 455(3). Penalties apply.

If you are unsure about whether or how to submit a notification you should contact Comcare's WHS Helpdesk by e-mailing WHS.Help@comcare.gov.au or calling 1300 366 979 to obtain advice.

Need more help?

Page last updated: 15 Nov 2017