Managing asbestos in the workplace in accordance with the legislation involves:

  • identifying all asbestos-containing materials (ACM)
  • maintaining an asbestos register that details the location of any ACM
  • developing an asbestos management plan.

The goal is to eliminate asbestos in the workplace, with consideration given to removing ACM instead of sealing, enclosing or encapsulating it during renovation, refurbishment or maintenance.

As per the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace Code of Practice 2011, this applies to all pre-1990 workplace buildings, plant and equipment.

Refer to the Asbestos Management Policy [2.20.01] for more information.

Identifying asbestos

Part 1.2 of How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace Code of Practice 2011 requires UQ to ensure all ACM in the workplace is identified, as far as practicable. This is achieved by:

  • identifying the locations of all ACM and determining whether any inaccessible areas are likely to contain ACM
  • identifying the types (such as asbestos cement sheet, lagging on pipes and flues, ACM gaskets in plant or machinery) and condition (for example, damaged or intact) of any ACM.

Asbestos or ACM in the workplace must be identified by a person who has acquired, through training, qualification or experience, the knowledge and skills to carry out the task. Where practicable, warning signs and labels to identify ACM should be used to ensure that the asbestos is not unknowingly disturbed.

Asbestos register

Under the current Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and the How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace Code of Practice 2011, UQ must keep an accurate register of ACM in all relevant building and non-building structures.

UQ’s asbestos register is kept and maintained by Properties and Facilities. For more information, contact PF Assist.

Asbestos management plan

Where asbestos or ACM has been identified, is assumed present or is likely to be present from time to time in the workplace, a written asbestos management plan must be prepared to prevent exposing staff, students and the wider University community to airborne asbestos fibres.

See the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 for a complete list of required information that must be included in the plan.

Overall, the plan should set out clear management aims and state what is going to be done, when it will be done and how it will be done. This includes applying the following principles:

  • taking appropriate steps to conduct a risk assessment for identified or suspected ACM
  • labelling and recording ACM in the asbestos register
  • completing control measures to prevent exposure to airborne fibres
  • informing everyone on the premises of the location of the asbestos, the consequences of exposure and the appropriate control measures they can take.

For more information about identifying or managing asbestos at UQ, see the UQ Asbestos Management Plan (PDF, 1.2MB).