What is an Asbestos Analysis?
With the release of the new Asbestos Abatement Regulations in November 2020, one may ask what the new requirements are for an employer/property owner that has Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) present on their premises.
Firstly, it must be noted that the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020, applies to all employers/property owners, including, but not limited to, residential, schools and educational facilities, older sectional title complexes and homes, industrial buildings, factories, warehouses, offices, and any building that may have used asbestos during its construction.
Requirements for identification of Asbestos materials
The new regulations have given employers/property owners eighteen months from November 2020 to identify asbestos in their buildings by employing a competent person with knowledge of asbestos, this identification needs to comply with the following requirements:
- The identification and risk assessment is required to pinpoint the location, quantity and condition of the asbestos.
- A written inventory of all asbestos identified in the above-mentioned risk assessment for each building situated on the premises.
The forementioned identification (risk assessment and inventory) of asbestos must be done by a competent person, with the required skills in asbestos work, as many new products have been manufactured that closely resemble asbestos since its banning in 2008.
The regulations further require that all asbestos listed in the inventory, as required by regulation 4, must be clearly and legibly identified using the pictogram specified under Annexure 1 of the Asbestos Abatement Regulations 2020.
Requirements for maintenance and removal of Asbestos materials
Once the risk assessment and inventory have been completed, the property owner is required to draft an asbestos management plan, which must include a proposed plan of how the employer/property owners plan to manage and maintain the condition of the ACM. If the management plan calls for the removal of the ACM, the employer/property owner will have to take the following steps:
- Appoint, in writing, an approved inspection authority and a registered asbestos contractor (Type 2 and 3 asbestos works).
- Notify the Chief Director: Department of Employment and Labour and obtain written approval before the commencement of any asbestos work, whether it is type 1, 2 or 3 asbestos work.
Asbestos maintenance and removal work is classified into three types, these are outlined in the regulations as follows:
- Type 1 – includes the painting of asbestos cement products that do not need surface preparation or cause any release of asbestos fibres or the removal of less than ten square meters of asbestos or equivalent gutters and piping or asbestos insulating boards where removal work may not be repeated on the same site within a period of six months. This work does not need the contractor to be a registered asbestos contractor with the Chief Inspector (Department of Employment and Labour), however, it does require written approval from the Department prior to commencing Type 1 asbestos work.
- Type 2 – includes the repair or encapsulation of asbestos products in a manner that requires surface preparation or the removal of asbestos cement products or asbestos insulating board. To undertake Type 2 asbestos projects, the contractor is required to be a Type 2 registered asbestos contractor with the Chief Inspector (Department of Employment and Labour).
- Type 3 – includes the removal, repair, or encapsulation of any asbestos and asbestos containing material. The contractor must be registered as a Type 3 asbestos contractor with the Chief Inspector (Department of Employment and Labour).