Asbestos hazard and asbestos risk are two factors that must be taken into consideration when a competent professional (Asbestos Assessor) conducts an asbestos assessment. Asbestos hazard is referred to as the potential harm that the asbestos can cause, whereas asbestos risk refers to the probability of that harm occurring. An asbestos assessment is based on three possibilities:
- The Likelihood of exposure and accessibility to asbestos containing material
- Condition of the asbestos containing material
- Presence of friable asbestos containing material at the location
The competent professional (Asbestos Assessor) must analyse the results to effectively rate and rank the risks imposed by the asbestos containing material (ACM). The risk factors are ranked according to: low, medium, high, and extreme risk. A high or extreme risk factor is given in critical situations when immediate action is necessary to restrict access to the affected area until the ACM is removed. The decision that sparks from the four ranks will determine the measures that should be implemented for control, induction and training, heath assessment, and asbestos airborne fibre monitoring.
Asbestos Assessment Report
A report must be prepared by an accredited professional stating the date of the assessment and the individual responsible for conducting the assessment. If a risk assessment report was in existence of the time of conducting the new assessment, this report should be reviewed and an assessment of the new findings documented in detail. The report must also have a conclusion of the findings along with recommended control measures.
Who should be informed about an Asbestos Assessment?
Anyone that could be affected directly or indirectly by the presence of asbestos should be informed of the assessment. This includes employees and neighbours. An asbestos containing material (ACM) report should be prepared and also made available to:
- Asbestos removal contractors
- Anyone that can be exposed to the deadly fibres
- Anyone that will perform any type of work that could disturb the fibres
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When Should an Assessment Be Done?
If your workplace was constructed prior to 2004, then you must by Australian Legislation haven an Asbestos Audit conducted.
If you believe that asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are present on your residential premises then you should obtain a professional assessment. Once the assessment has been completed immediate action must be taken to protect and inform those that have access to various areas containing asbestos containing materials (ACMs).
Additional assessment reports are necessary in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the asbestos assessor.
1. Certain asbestos containing materials (ACMs) on the premises require monitoring 2. Asbestos containing materials have been removed from the location or have deteriorated exposing humans to the airborne fibres.
Model Work Health and Safety Regulations (link to Legislation)
How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace (link to Legislation)