Demolition and Refurbishment Surveys for Asbestos

Asbestos surveys prior to demolition

Unidentified asbestos containing materials can pose significant health and financial risks if they aren’t correctly managed before commencement of refurbishment or demolition projects.

Plan ahead to avoid unexpected expensive delays to your project

If you’re planning on construction, renovations and/or demolition of a building completed prior to 31 December 2003 there is a probability that asbestos may be present on the site. Even if an asbestos register exists for the site/property, it is still likely that obscured asbestos may not have been identified or suspected materials have not yet been confirmed as asbestos containing.

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 it is a requirement to identify all asbestos containing materials, so far as reasonably practicable, prior to conducting demolition and refurbishment.

Generally speaking, enclosed or inaccessible building materials pose a low level of risk during regular activities and maintenance. In many cases where the impact from a risk is deemed to be low, gaining access to enclosed building materials that may contain asbestos can be an unnecessary cost.

Building asbestos surveys for demolition and refurbishment works are generally more involved than asbestos surveys for registers and management plans. They may include the invasive sampling of surfaces, the removal or breaking of surface linings in order to gain access to floor voids, wall linings and ceiling/roof linings.

Demolition and refurbishment surveys should only be conducted within unoccupied areas in order to minimise possible exposure to asbestos fibres. Electrical gas and water services may be required to be isolated in order to safely inspect some areas such as plant gaskets, electrical fuse boards and cable wraps.

Asbestos demolition and refurbishment surveys should include NATA accredited analysis of areas suspected to contain asbestos and should include dimensions of these areas to assist asbestos removal contractors to provide pricing for removal and demolition works.

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