What is Asbestos Work?

The new Asbestos Regulations [Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2015] has several key definitions in relation to ‘asbestos work’. There are specific terms that need to be understood in order to correctly interpret the new Regulations. As best I can tell the following definitions are intended.

  • ‘Work involving asbestos’ – this is very broad, work involves asbestos if the work involves manufacturing, supplying, transporting, storing, removing, using, installing, handling, treating, disposing of, or disturbing asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials).

Work involving asbestos is divided into the following

  • Asbestos removal work’ – removal of asbestos, ACM, and asbestos contaminated soil. Includes Class A (friable), and Class B (non-friable in excess of 10 square metres)
  • ‘Asbestos related work’ – this is a range of exemptions (excluding asbestos removal work) to ‘work involving asbestos’ and includes sampling and analysis of asbestos, maintenance and servicing work on ACMs, work with soils with no visible (or only trace) asbestos and any work that WorkSafe approve a method for.
  • Other ‘work involving asbestos’ – anything that is not included in the exemptions is forbidden (must not be carried out).

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