19 Point Asbestos Safety Checklist
This checklist gives you 19 key points to bear in mind when considering the potential risks that asbestos could pose to your home.
1) Australian homes of any type (brick, fibro, weatherboard, clad homes) may contain asbestos. Statistics indicate at least 1 out of every 3 homes has asbestos issues.
2) Many building materials used before 1987 contained asbestos. If construction or renovations on your home occurred prior to 1987, it’s extremely likely that there are asbestos materials on the premises.
3) Renovation work — or even routine maintenance — around asbestos building materials could pose a threat to your family’s health.
4) In homes where asbestos materials are known to be present, DIY projects are strongly discouraged.
5) In all sorts of residential construction and renovation work, it is wise to assume the presence of asbestos if the smallest doubt exists. All possible precautions should be taken.
6) Although asbestos is a very serious issue, bear in mind that it is also a MANAGEABLE one!
7) To provide a comprehensive survey of asbestos materials in your home, a licenced asbestos assessor or licenced removalist can perform an inspection.
8) Building materials that may have been manufactured using asbestos cement include drainage, water, and flue pipes; fibro sheeting (both corrugated and flat); roofing shingles; floor and wall coverings; and guttering. Asbestos can be found virtually anywhere.
9) The key point to remember if your home contains asbestos is that it must not be disturbed. Don’t cut it, drill into it, drop it, saw it, sand it, scrape it, scrub it, move it, dismantle it, demolish it, or water blast it. Finally, don’t try to throw it away!
Some of Our Other Services
Inspection and Testing – Collect a sample and send it to a lab
Asbestos Roofing – Roof inspection and disposal services
Fence Inspection and Removal – Safe Fencing replacement
10) Undisturbed asbestos products that are stable and undamaged have little potential for causing a health hazard by releasing inhalable fibres. This form of asbestos does not necessarily need to be removed. It should be left alone (apart from painting), but you need to inspect it from time to time to confirm it hasn’t been damaged.
11) The management, removal, and disposal of asbestos are all governed by stringent legal requirements.
12) Rather than attempting to remove small loads of asbestos on your own with the guidance of the applicable safety rules and regulations, its easier (and safer!) to turn the job over to a professional, licenced asbestos removalist. They have the necessary equipment to remove asbestos without exposing your family to any health risks.
13) Materials that contain friable (loose and unbound) asbestos fibres MUST be removed by licenced removalists.
14) Professional asbestos removal is a very affordable service, especially considering the risks involved in the process.
15) Licenced asbestos removalists charge fees for their services which are comparable to those of other licenced tradesmen (e.g. plumbers, tilers, electricians).
16) Most (but not all) removalists include the cost of lawful asbestos disposal in their removal fees.
17) Always protect you and your family’s health by complying with all legal and safety requirements if you must work with or remove asbestos yourself. Minimising the creation and spread of small particles or dust is absolutely vital.
18) Basic safety measures include wearing the proper protective clothing, a suitable mask and / or breathing apparatus, and disposing of all asbestos materials (and any dust) in safe and legal ways.
19) Power tools (e.g. drills, saws, sanders, grinders) must not be used on asbestos materials as they produce airborne fibres. Compressed air or high-pressure water blasters should also be avoided.
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Here’s a great video about asbestos safety: