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Asbestos in the workplace: landlords take note!

Owners of commercial and industrial properties built before 1 January 1990 which are used as workplaces must ensure that any asbestos containing material located on the property is identified, assessed and documented in an asbestos containing material register.


The risks to your business and to you personally

Workplace Health and Safety legislation in Queensland contains a variety of penalties to which building owners can be liable if they do not comply with their obligations.

The process

The process of identification and assessment can be undertaken by a person who:

  1. has the training, knowledge and experience in identifying and assessing asbestos containing material;
  2. is familiar with building and construction practices and can identify where asbestos may be present in a building; and
  3. is able to determine the difference between friable asbestos or bonded asbestos, and be able to assess the condition of the asbestos identified;

If asbestos is located on a property, you must maintain an asbestos containing material register on site which contains the following information:

  1. the date when the asbestos containing material was identified;
  2. details of the person who carried out the inspection
  3.  the whereabouts of the asbestos containing material in the building;
  4. whether the asbestos containing material is friable or bonded and the condition that it is in;
  5. whether there were any areas that were inaccessible but it is likely that asbestos containing material would be found there.

You should be aware that warning signs must also be used when asbestos containing material is found in the workplace.  At a very minimum, a clearly visible sign must be installed at the main entrance of the workplace.

What you need to do NOW

In the first instance, if you have any reasonable suspicion that your building my be subject to the rules, you should seek professional legal advice. This will assist you in asking the right questions and understanding what you need to do next. With the benefit of this advice, owners will be able to assess whether the reporting obligation applies and will understand the necessary steps to follow.

More information

For guidance on the investigations and steps that need to be followed, contact our office on +617 3223 6100.

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