Removal of Asbestos Cement Product
Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992
Left undisturbed in buildings, asbestos cement building products pose little risk to health, so there is no need to remove or coat asbestos cement materials that are in good condition. All asbestos cement products can be removed safely without causing a risk to the public or workers provided safe work procedures are followed.
Persons removing asbestos cement products must comply with the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992, the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 and Environmental Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulations 2004 as outlined in this fact sheet.
As of 1 July 2010, Contractors removing more than 10 square metres of bonded asbestos will be required to hold an Asbestos License, issued by Work Safe WA.
Safe work procedures for the removal of asbestos
- Asbestos cement sheets should be kept wet with water during removal or sprayed with a PVA (poly vinyl acetate) solution
- Use only non-powered hand tools or portable power tools incorporating dust suppression or dust extraction attachments designed to collect asbestos fibres
- Care must be taken when removing asbestos cement products to ensure minimal breakage. Roofing materials must be lowered to the ground, not dropped
- Removed sheets are to be stacked on polythene sheeting, then wrapped and sealed into bundles for disposal, or placed directly into disposal bins that have been lined with polythene sheeting, and sealed for disposal
- Sheets must not be left lying about where they may be further broken or crushed
- When stacking removed sheets, care must be taken not to slide one sheet over another, as this will result in the release of fibres
- Asbestos roof gutters must be sealed prior to their removal
- Any visible asbestos cement residue remaining in the roof space, in the roof gutters or within the removal area is to be cleaned up using an approved vacuum cleaner
- All waste containing asbestos is to be kept wet, wrapped in thick plastic or otherwise sealed and removed from the site as soon as practicable
In addition to above information, those working on demolition sites should comply with the following details.
- If removing asbestos cement building products from a demolition site, it is recommended that the surrounding area should have warning signs and a barrier erected to prevent unauthorised people from entering
- All people involved with asbestos cement removal should wear disposable coveralls and either a P1 or P2 disposable mask that complies with Australian Standard 1716:1994 (obtainable from your local hardware shop). Used disposable coveralls and masks are to be placed in the bags for removal with other asbestos waste. For information regarding personal protection during asbestos product removal, contact WorkSafe on 1300 136 237
- All inquiries relating to demolition sites should be directed to the City on 9400 4961 or to WorkSafe on 1300 136 237
Disposal to landfill sites
Within the metropolitan area, asbestos cement waste must be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulations 2004 as detailed below. Material containing asbestos must be:
- separated from all other waste
- wrapped in heavy duty plastic to prevent asbestos fibres entering the atmosphere during transportation by road
- clearly labeled and marked 'CAUTION ASBESTOS' in letters at least 4 centimetres high.
The nearest facility to accept asbestos cement waste is Tamala Park, which is located on Marmion Avenue, Mindarie. For further details regarding this site visit the Tamala Park website.
Under the Environmental Protection (Controlled Waste) Regulation 2004, permits are NOT required for the off-site removal, transportation or disposal of material containing asbestos by home-owners, however contractors transporting asbestos products may need a permit.
- The use of high-pressure equipment to clean materials that contain asbestos is strictly prohibited. This includes the use of compressed air or high-pressure water jets
- It is an offence to sell, swap, give away or supply second hand asbestos cement sheeting
For further information, please contact the City on 9400 4933, Tamala Park on 9306 6300 or WorkSafe on 1300 136 237 or visit the worksafe website.