MEDIA RELEASE: Monday, 8 November 2021
COMMERCIAL & NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGERS & TRADIES URGED TO RESPECT ASBESTOS RISKS!
During National Asbestos Awareness Month (1-30 November) managers of commercial and non-residential properties and tradespersons are being urged to respect the risks of asbestos and download free resources from asbestosawareness.com.au which were developed in association with, health and safety regulators to ensure safe, effective management of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in accordance with regulations.
With the manufacture and installation of more than 3000 ACM products commonly used in commercial and non-residential properties built or refurbished before 2004; those responsible for managing these properties and the tradies who work on them, must ensure they adhere to strict asbestos management regulations. However, compliance among tradespersons and commercial property managers has sometimes proven challenging.
Clare Collins, Director of the National Asbestos Awareness Month campaign said, “We aim to reinforce how vitally important it is for tradies and those working in the commercial and non-residential property sector to ensure they adhere to the required health and safety regulations when working in environments where exposure to asbestos fibres poses risks.
“Since launching the campaign in 2011, all too often we’ve heard frightening stories of how tradies have ignored the warnings when working on various property types voicing the ‘she’ll be right, mate’ attitude,” Ms Collins said.
“However, with the numbers of asbestos-related diseases predicted to rise as a result of complacency, tradies and those responsible for managing commercial and non-residential properties must start to respect the dangers of asbestos and ensure they understand the risks and adhere to regulations when managing asbestos.
“While the asbestosawareness.com.au provides a breadth of information for tradies including the Asbestos Awareness Guide For Tradespeople Working On Residential Properties and 22 trade-specific Guides along with a wide range of Fact Sheets; the Asbestos Product Database provides tradies and commercial and non-residential property managers with a visual tool to help identify ACMs and if asbestos is suspected, we recommend using only occupational hygienists or licenced asbestos assessors to confirm asbestos is present through testing.
“While some products are unique to commercial properties, there is definitely cross-over between the uses of ACMs in residential, non-residential and commercial properties with many of the product types featured on the Asbestos Product Database found across all variations of building constructions.
“Only last week while capturing images of ACMs at a non-residential property (a community and childcare centre), there were a wide range of products common to both domestic and commercial properties, particularly in the construction of the facility (walls and roofing), as well as in the electrical fuse box, floorcoverings, bathrooms and kitchens,” she said.
“For commercial and non-residential property managers, the Asbestos Management Handbook for Commercial and Non-residential Properties and templates provides a free, user-friendly asbestos management resource package to help improve regulatory compliance across the sector by providing owners, managers, developers and workers with essential, practical guides and tools to manage ACMs in line with requirements,” said Ms Collins.
Designed for a broad audience including property owners, agents, managers, builders, contractors, subcontractors, tradespeople and workers, the Asbestos Management Handbook, Templates and Fact Sheets were developed by asbestosawareness.com.au in consultation with stakeholders to improve compliance in the commercial and non-residential property sector.
Covering a comprehensive list of building types including commercial, industrial, government, recreational, agricultural, hospitality, health services, education and religious facilities, transport and tourism structures; the Handbook details roles and responsibilities and features best practice case studies and images of ACMs commonly found in commercial and non-residential properties built or refurbished prior to 2004.
The Handbook offers practical step-by-step guidance on adhering to regulations including how to develop and manage an Asbestos Management Plan, an Asbestos Register, workers training requirements and it defines Asbestos Inspections, Surveys, Risk Assessments and the requirements for asbestos removal.
John Batty, President of the Asbestos & Hazardous-Materials Consultants Association (AHCA) and the Managing Director of EDP Consultants, a global provider of Health, Safety and Environmental Services said,
“Asbestos management for property owners and people with management and control of facilities can be challenging due to the complex and extensive nature of the regulations, codes, guidelines and standards.
“For people not familiar with these requirements it can feel overwhelming leading some individuals to ignore their statutory requirements,” he said.
“The free Handbook can assist these individuals by providing a user-friendly step-by-step procedure to guide them through their responsibilities while also limiting the risk to workers and users,” said Mr Batty.
“While the Handbook does not remove the requirement to engage suitably experienced and licensed professions such as licensed asbestos assessors and removal contractors it does ensure those responsible for the management of commercial and non-residential properties are aware of their requirements,” he said.
“During National Asbestos Awareness Month I’d implore all people responsible for the management or control of facilities to download the comprehensive Asbestos Management Handbook, Templates and Fact Sheets from asbestosawareness.com.au and ensure they are managing the risk associated with asbestos because it’s just not worth the risk,” Mr Batty said.
Now in its tenth year, the National Asbestos Awareness campaign is Australia’s longest-running, multi-award winning annual campaign dedicated to alerting Australians to the dangers of asbestos and providing information on how to manage it safely in accordance with regulations.
Since launching in 2011, asbestosawareness.com.au has provided homeowners, renovators, tradies, managers of commercial and non-residential properties and regional property owners with essential resources in the prevention of asbestos-related diseases.
With over 2.2 million pageviews, more than 1 million sessions, over 700,000 unique users and in providing over 1500 resources having been downloaded over 500,000 times, asbestosawareness.com.au is Australia’s leading, most comprehensive, trusted asbestos information resource.
NOTE: Please see Journalist Notes for further information about resources for tradespersons, the Handbook and resources for commercial and non-residential property managers, Asbestos Awareness Month and interview opportunities.
- Trade Specific Checklist for Tradies – A Tradespersons Guide to Asbestos
- Fact Sheets for Tradies
- Asbestos Product Database
- Asbestos Management for Commercial and Non-Residential Properties
- Residential Checklist for Tradies – A Tradespersons Guide to Asbestos
IMAGES OF ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIALS
Images of ACMs in commercial and non-residential properties can be downloaded here: https://asbestosawareness.box.com/v/AsbestosAwarenessImages
- For Interview requests with John Batty, please contact Insight Communications 02 9518 4744
WHAT COMMERCIAL & NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TYPES ARE AFFECTED AND REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH REGULATIONS?
Any commercial and non-residential building built or refurbished prior to January 2004 may contain asbestos with owners and managers required to comply with the Asbestos Codes of Practice; How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace, How to Safely Remove Asbestos and the Work Health and Safety Consultation Cooperation and Coordination.
There are a wide-range of buildings that must comply including shops, commercial (business), industrial (factories and warehouses), government (offices, community and cultural facilities), recreation (sporting facilities), agricultural (farming), hospitality (pubs, restaurants and theatres), health services (hospitals, outpatient buildings, dental and medical practices), education (schools and universities), religious (churches and church halls), transport (waiting areas and sheds), and tourism (accommodation). Asbestos can be anywhere!
MANAGEMENT OF ASBESTOS IN COMMERCIAL & NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES RESOURCES
The resource package for Asbestos Management for Commercial and Non-Residential Properties was developed in accordance with the Work Health and Safety (WH&S) regulations, the Asbestos Codes of Practice; How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace, How to Safely Remove Asbestos and the Work Health and Safety Consultation Cooperation and Coordination.
The following Handbook, Templates and Fact Sheets aim to provide those industries most affected by asbestos in commercial and non-residential properties with essential information to increase understanding of the responsibilities associated with asbestos management and the requirements for compliance with government regulations.
All components of the package are free and can be downloaded from asbestosawareness.com.au.
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK FOR COMMERCIAL & NON-RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES
The Handbook is a comprehensive guide providing information on the roles and responsibilities of property owners, managers, contractors, sub-contractors, foreman and workers. It features easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to develop and implement policies and procedures to assist in identifying and managing asbestos safely and in accordance with regulations. It includes a list of property types across multiple sectors including government, business (high rise, mid-rise, low rise), industrial, agriculture, recreation, education and more. The Handbook explains complex information in user-friendly, accessible terms and is complemented by Fact Sheets and Templates. The Handbook also features images of asbestos-containing products commonly found in commercial and non-residential properties. There are 12 dedicated support resources including:
- Asbestos Management for Commercial and Non-Residential Properties Model Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) Guide Template
- Asbestos Register Template
- Asbestos Removal Record Template
- Workers Training Requirements & Records Template
- Model Asbestos Policy for Contractors & Builders Template
- Model Asbestos Management Procedures for Contractors & Builders Template
- C1 Fact Sheet – Unexpected Asbestos, ACM Finds or Incidents Procedures Flow Chart
- C2 Fact Sheet – Unexpected Asbestos Finds or Incidents
- C3 Fact Sheet – Asbestos Management Recommendations and Guidelines
- C4 Fact Sheet – Using PPE and RPE
- C5 Fact Sheet – Roles and Responsibilities for the Management of Asbestos and ACM
- C6 Fact Sheet – 20 Point Safety Check for Contractors, Subcontractors and Workers
ESSENTIAL FACTS FOR TRADIES
With many tradies work on commercial properties either maintaining, repairing or refurbishing them, they should refer to Asbestos Management Handbook for Commercial & Non-Residential Properties as well as resources for residential properties including:
- T1: 20 POINT ASBESTOS SAFETY CHECKLIST For Tradies Working On Residential Properties
- T2: A Tradie’s Guide To Safe Practices In Managing Asbestos In Residential Properties
- Guides specific to 22 trades from air conditioning installers, roofers, fencers, tilers and more
- T3: A Tradesperson’s Guide to Asbestos Containing Materials in Domestic Properties
- FS4: Fact Sheet 4 PPE & RPE
JOHN BATTY – President of the Asbestos & Hazardous-Materials Consultants Association
John Batty is the President of the Asbestos & Hazardous-Materials Consultants Association (AHCA) and the Managing Director of EDP Consultants, a global provider of Health, Safety and Environmental Services.
John has over 17 years’ experience in asbestos and hazardous materials management gained through providing consultancy services to a number of government and private organisations.
John holds an Asbestos Assessors Licence with SafeWork NSW and is experienced in the identification, management and removal of asbestos and asbestos impacted soils. John is also an active member of the NSW Demolition and Asbestos Consultative Committee and is part of current industry working groups focusing on asbestos in soil management, non-destructive digging and lead paint and dust management.
PLEASE NOTE: A Photograph of John Batty is available on request.
ASBESTOS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION (AHCA)
The Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Consultants Association (AHCA) is an association for industry professionals within the asbestos and hazardous materials community. The aim of the AHCA is to drive and encourage best practice through consultation and knowledge sharing. The AHCA also provides a single forum for the presentation and discussion of issues and provides a conduit between members, other industry associations, governments and community groups.
NATIONAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS MONTH 2021 – 10 years of campaigning to prevent asbestos-related diseases
2021 marks 10 years as Australia’s longest-running, multi-award winning annual Asbestos Awareness campaign and in providing world-first information and resources on how to manage asbestos safely at asbstosawareness.com.au. Since 2011, the campaign has won multiple peer-reviewed awards both nationally and internationally and has been acknowledged in medical journals as a leading initiative in the fight to prevent asbestos-related diseases.
THE 2021 NATIONAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS MONTH CAMPAIGN IS BEING CONDUCTED WHOLLY PRO-BONO
Funding for the campaign ceased in 2018 while funding to keep the website live concluded in January 2019. Given the significance of the campaign and the website, Insight Communications (campaign creators and directors) have managed to keep the website live with the support of web developers, I-NEX and creative director, Gemma Waite of Moth Creative.
asbestosawareness.com.au is Australia’s leading, most comprehensive trusted source of asbestos information dedicated to educating Australians about the dangers of asbestos with a specific focus on homeowners, renovators, tradies, commercial property managers and the owners and managers of regional properties where naturally occurring asbestos can be found.
Since launching on Monday 21 November 2011, asbestosawareness.com.au has Averaged 11,000 users per month in 2021 – a 32% increase on 2020. Each November during National Asbestos Awareness Month it averages a 37% increase on regular monthly users and averaged 23,231 pageviews per month in 2021 – a 26% increase on 2020. Each November during National Asbestos Awareness Month it averages a 76% increase on regular monthly pageviews. Over 1500 downloadable resources (fact sheets, handbooks, guides, flyers/posters, graphics, images, AV) have been accessed over 500,000 times.