What do the new asbestos Regulations mean for electricians, plumbers, builders, etc doing Asbestos Related Work?

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What’s involved for electricians, plumbers, builders, etc doing Asbestos Related Work.

Many contractors will from time to time be exposed to asbestos during their work.  This may be when drilling holes in an electrical fuse board, repairing plumbing under a school building, or when doing minor repairs on a house. The new Regulations have clear and specific requirements for the PCBU of such contractors. 

These include:

  • Duties to train workers about asbestos
  • Duties to provide health monitoring
  • Duty to review the asbestos management plan for the workplace where work is being undertaken
  • Duty to limit use of equipment on asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM)
  • Determine the presence of asbestos or ACM if demolition or refurbishment of a structure or plant is to be carried out at a workplace. This particularly applies to builders.

Previously, the old Regulations were very scant, and there was a guideline for asbestos management and removal.  The new Regulations are 67 pages long and spell out what must be done. At the end of most Regulations is the liability on conviction for failing to meet requirements.  These range from $2000 to $10,000 for individuals, and $10,000 to $50,000 for any other person (ie: the employer (PCBU)). This is for each individual offence.  There is also provision for WorkSafe to apply an infringement fine for some offences.

So what do you do? Read the regulations, or you are welcome to call us on 0800 366 3700 to discuss anything you are unsure of.  We are happy to help.  There is no charge for a brief chat.