Why do I need an Asbestos Report?
Our Asbestos Report includes BOTH an Asbestos Register and an Asbestos Management Plan. In Western Australia the proposed Model Work, Health and Safety legislation will make an Asbestos Register mandatory for all commercial, retail, industrial and mixed use residential properties that contain a common property workplace built before 31 December 2003.
There are requirements under Work, Health and Safety legislation to prepare and display an Asbestos Register at a workplace. In addition, an Asbestos Management Plan has to be implemented and reviewed periodically.
An Asbestos Register identifies Asbestos or Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) and where it is located on the subject property.
A complying Asbestos Register has the following minimum features
- a proper Risk Assessment has been carried out on each identified item
- appropriate control measures and hierarchy of control to limit the exposure to the ACM
- whether the ACM is non-friable, or friable (able to be crushed with hand pressure)
- identification of the size and extent of the ACM
- the type or name of the ACM product
- the specific location of any ACM
- whether the ACM is accessible
- the condition of the ACM,
- the contamination risk
- amongst other things
Asbestos Management Plan
An Asbestos Management Plan sets out the way in which the Asbestos or ACM is to be treated, for example, whether using a hierarchy of controls or simply left in place and continually monitored.
A complying Asbestos Management Plan contains the following minimum information
- the date to commence and date to complete any proposed works
- the person responsible for implementing the control measures
- the recommended control measures
- the size and extent of the ACM
- the location of the item
- the item description
- amongst other things
For those States that have adopted the Model Work Health and Safety legislation the key clauses dealing with Asbestos are contained in Clauses 422 to 430 of the Model Regulation.
Clause 422(2) allows a competent person who reasonably believes that the material contains asbestos to assume that the material is ACM. Sub-clause (4) states that 'If asbestos or ACM is assumed to be present at a workplace, it is taken to be identified at the workplace.'
Clause 423(1) states that 'A person with management or control of a workplace may identify asbestos or ACM by arranging for a sample of material at the workplace to be analysed for the presence of asbestos or ACM.'
There is no legislative requirement for any samples to be tested. In fact the key principle in dealing with Asbestos or ACM is that the material NOT BE DISTURBED. Unfortunately, some people believe that it is acceptable to gouge, cut, break, damage and disturb Asbestos or ACM in order to obtain a sample to be tested. This practice simply increases the risk of releasing dangerous asbestos fibres into the air and the local environment for no real positive gain, regardless of sealing the damaged material with PVA, paint and the like.
Reserve Fund Plans does not recommend that Asbestos and ACM be disturbed for the purpose of obtaining samples for testing. However, in those rare circumstances where work is to be carried out on or near an item identified as Asbestos or ACM, then Reserve Fund Plans can obtain a sample using the appropriate National Safe Codes of Practice with our trained asbestos Inspectors. Each sample will then be tested by our NATA Accredited laboratory in Western Australia.
It is prudent to obtain an Asbestos Report
Regardless of any requirements to obtain an Asbestos Register under the Work Health and Safety legislation, the owner is always legally liable for any breach of their Common Law Duty of Care (sometimes referred to as Occupiers Liability). Asbestos is a known dangerous material and as such, each owner has a Duty of Care to ensure that no harm comes to anyone as a result of the asbestos on that property.
For the small fee of obtaining an Asbestos Report from Reserve Fund Plans an Strata Company or Property Owner can obtain a significant degree of protection in not only knowing what items may contain asbestos, but also being able to demonstrate that they have taken prudent steps in identifying hazards on their property.
Fines for not obtaining an Asbestos Report
There are significant fines for not complying with the Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Plan requirements under the Model Work Health and Safety legislation proposed for Western Australia, particularly if someone was injured as a result of your negligence.
|Category of the offence||Maximum penalty for a corporation||Maximum penalty for an officer||Maximum penalty for a worker|
|Category 1: Breach of a health and safety duty involving reckless conduct with the risk of death or serious injury or illness without reasonable excuse (s31)||$3,000,000||$600,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment||$300,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment|
|Category 2: Breach of a health and safety duty exposing an individual to death or serious injury or illness - no recklessness (s32)||$1,500,000||$300,000||$150,000|
|Category 3: Failure to comply with a health and safety duty (s33)||$500,000||$100,000||$50,000|
Ordering an Asbestos Report
When we receive your instructions we will
- inspect the subject property
- take a practical and flexible approach to control measures to either eliminate or minimise any Asbestos or ACM hazard
- prioritise risk by carrying out a proper Risk Assessment for each identified Asbestos or ACM hazard so that the Owners can decide which hazards should be rectified first
- carry out a visual inspection only of each item that may be Asbestos or ACM
- provide colour photographs, the location and description of any Asbestos or ACM hazards that are identified on the subject property
- provide a thorough explanation within our Asbestos Report
In addition to carrying out Asbestos Registers and Asbestos Management Plans, we also assess and prepare Work Health and Safety Reports including 'Common Law Duty of Care' Reports (WHS and OHS), Reserve Fund Plans (sometimes called Maintenance Plans), and Building Insurance Valuations.
Turnaround time and fees
Our normal turnaround time is around 3 to 7 business days, and we will beat any competitors written quote by 12%.