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How Should Commercial Property Managers Deal with Asbestos Removal?

April 23, 2020

There are laws set out for the removal and disposal of asbestos and it varies from country to country. In Australia, as stated in the existing legislation, owners and managers of commercial properties have the legal obligation to maintain strict safety standards. Therefore, a property owner or manager is responsible in maintaining and repairing the property, and make decisions related to the activities within the building premises. They are at the same time responsible for investigating the presence of asbestos materials at the property, creating and implementing a course of action for asbestos, including its safe removal from the premises.

The law prohibits some activities that are related to asbestos-containing materials and also requires certain steps when working near or on asbestos-containing materials. Serious penalties like hefty fines or conviction are imposed to those who do not comply. Below are ways on how commercial property manages should deal with asbestos removal.

Identify the Presence of Asbestos

The presence of asbestos can be difficult to identify just by sight. You have to rely on the fact that while asbestos is now banned from use, it was a component used on various building materials as well as different products during the 1940s up to the late 1980s.

As a general rule, if a building was erected before the mid 1980s, it is highly likely there is the presence of some asbestos-containing materials. If it was built between the mid 1980s and 1990, it is likely that it would have materials containing asbestos. And if it was built after 1990, it is highly unlikely it would have materials containing asbestos. The only way to be sure if asbestos is present is to have a sample of a thing you suspect to contain asbestos analysed by a competent person in an accredited laboratory.

Locate the Asbestos

Usually, asbestos materials are bonded with other materials and are commonly called as ‘Fibro’, AC sheeting, or asbestos cement. Loose friable asbestos can be found in lagging or as a backing material to vinyl sheet flooring.

Manage Asbestos Risks

Before you contact specialists to do the job, you should first identify the materials that may contain asbestos. If you are not sure, have the materials tested before work is started. Maintain communication with the specialists to ensure that work is done safely and in accordance with health and safety regulations. Ensure that only a ‘Class B’ or ‘Class A’ asbestos removal license holder will handle the removal of more than 10 square meter of non-friable asbestos. Inform tenants and affected neighbours about the work to be done and any necessary precautions before the start of the work. Discuss with property owners and specialists about the alternatives to removing materials containing asbestos. Keep undamaged asbestos-containing materials intact and undisturbed. Ensure that only a ‘Class A’ asbestos removal license holder will remove loose friable asbestos-containing materials. Never use dry brooms or paint scrapers on asbestos materials that are uncoated; power tools; high pressure water blasters; compressed air.

Ensure the proper asbestos removal by hiring Simcat Demolitions professionals for your projects. We create innovative solutions that safely and professionally enhance the quality of any project.



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