Asbestos must be carefully removed and disposed of so that it does not create a health risk. Individual fibres must not be released into the air where they could be inhaled.
The new Workplace Health & Safety Regulation 2012 requires specified duty holders to notify Workplace Health and Safety Queensland of certain asbestos related matters, including:
Web script outlining notification requirements, plus notification forms where relevant are available at: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/asbestos/asbestos-removal-and-licensing
In Queensland, asbestos removal and disposal are regulated by law.
Make sure you read this whole section and understand the basic legal requirements before starting work on any project involving asbestos.
The WHS Regulations require a person conducting a business or undertaking who commissions the removal of asbestos at the workplace to ensure asbestos removal work is carried out only by a licensed asbestos removalist who is appropriately licensed to carry out the work, unless specified in the WHS Regulations that a licence is not required.
There are two types of licences: Class A and Class B. The type of licence required will depend on the type and quantity of asbestos or ACM that is being removed at a workplace.
|Type of Licence||What asbestos can be removed?|
Can remove any amount or quantity of asbestos or ACM, including:
No licence required
Non friable ACM’s (also known as bonded ACM’s) are less of a health risk than unbonded products. The individual asbestos fibres are firmly bound into a matrix, inhibiting their release into the atmosphere. However, safe methods must still be used when handling or removing them.
From 1 July 2006, anyone removing 10 square metres or more of bonded asbestos in Queensland requires a B class licence.
You can find out more about licensing at: Licensing
The following registered training organisations and authorised accredited providers assess suitability for individuals to hold a 'B' class licence: Find an RTO
Unlicensed people may still remove quantities of bonded asbestos under 10 square metres. However, everyone -- licensed or unlicensed -- who removes bonded asbestos products must follow the requirements of the:
Key points to remember when removing bonded asbestos products are:
Removal of unbonded (friable) asbestos products can only be performed by people with an asbestos removalist licence approved by the Queensland Government.
From 1 July 2006, Queensland removalists require an A class licence, or Asbestos Removal Business Certificate, to remove unbonded asbestos in any quantity.
Unbonded asbestos products must be handled very carefully. To avoid creating airborne fibre, the following methods are generally used.
Under no circumstances should unqualified people disturb friable asbestos products.
A person commissioning licensed asbestos removal work must ensure that, once the licensed asbestos removal work has been completed, a clearance inspection is carried out and a clearance certificate is issued before the workplace can be re-occupied by:
- An independent licensed asbestos assessor, for work that must be carried out by a Class A licensed asbestos removalist (for example, if the removal work involved friable asbestos)
- An independent competent person, for asbestos work that is not required to be carried out by a Class A licensed asbestos removalist (for example, if removal work involved more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos.
This also includes where the work is being carried out at domestic premises. For domestic premises the licensed removalist must ensure a clearance inspection is carried out.
To be independent, the licensed asbestos assessor or competent person must not be involved in the removal of asbestos for that specific job and is not involved in a business or undertaking involved in the removal of the asbestos for that specific job.
Asbestos may be left in a building if it will remain undisturbed, or if it can be treated to ensure it will remain in an undisturbed and sound condition. Such treatment can include:
However, removing asbestos is generally the preferred option, as it eliminates the hazard from the building.
Asbestos transport and disposal is also regulated under Queensland's Environmental Protection Regulation 2008, Part 2 -- Environmentally Relevant Activities.
For more detailed information on removal and disposal, visit the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website, or call your local Workplace Health and Safety office on 1300 369 915.
Lantrak Waste Management & Recycling Facility, 1 Memoral Drive, Swanbank
Telephone: 07 3288 7344
New Chum Landfill, Transpacific, Chum Street, New Chum
Telephone: 07 3816 2166
Veolia Environmental Services Wattle Glen Landfill, Redbank Plains Road, Blacksoil
Telephone: 1300 134 364
Please use this link to locate asbestos disposal sites for your local area.
Information Paper AR1: Approved criteria for a certificate to perform work to remove friable asbestos containing material
Information Paper AR2: Requirements for a competent person to supervise work to remove friable asbestos containing material
Information Paper AR3: Approved criteria for a certificate to perform work to remove bonded asbestos containing material
Transporting regulated waste commercially or in quantities of more than 250 kilograms in a load is defined as ERA 83 under Schedule 1 of the Environmental Protection Regulation 1998 (Qld).
These activities are either level 1 or level 2 ERAs and you will need to obtain a development permit and a registration certificate. A code of environmental compliance exists for or aspects of this ERA. A development permit is not required for ERA 83 where the development meets the criteria of the code.