Commercial buildings built before 31 December 2003 must keep an accurate asbestos register and asbestos management plan if asbestos exists on the premises. These documents are prepared from the information gathered after an asbestos assessment is performed by an asbestos assessor. When necessary, the asbestos assessor will request laboratory tests that identify the presence and type of asbestos in a particular sample. Air sampling is another asbestos testing indicator that measures the amount of asbestos fibre per milliliter.
Commercial Building Asbestos Testing Information
All buildings that are used or likely to be used for work built before 31 December, must have an asbestos audit conducted.
Some of the common areas where an asbestos assessor may test for asbestos include:
- Asbestos rope/fabric in expansion joints, heaters, and other exhaust flues
- Lift motor rooms
- Electrical switchboards
- Flat, patterned, or corrugated asbestos cement sheeting (also known as fibro) used for walls and roofing
- Lagging on wall pipes
- Electrical duct heater units (millboard)
- Behind tiles in wet areas
- Asbestos cement piping (e.g. heater flues)
- Fire doors
- Bituminous waterproof membrane (on flat roofs)
If the property does not have an asbestos register or asbestos management plan, then no type of demolition or renovation can be performed prior to having these prepared. The plan must comply with the requirements in the “How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace” Code of Practice.
Only NATA accredited laboratories can perform asbestos testing. You should ensure that the lab’s accreditation is still in effect. In addition to this, the company performing the asbestos assessment must have up-to-date Asbestos Liability insurance. All of this information must be obtained prior to any work.