Granny flat
  • 19 Jul 2023
  • 3 min read
  • By Workplace Health and Safety

Asbestos advice: do you know your obligations?

Asbestos in rentals, Agent advice

Did you know houses built before 1990 are likely to contain asbestos?

Around 3,000 asbestos containing materials, including corrugated asbestos cement roof sheeting and flat cement wall and ceiling sheeting, were used to build and renovate homes and roofs from the 1940’s until the end of the 1980’s.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has released a series of films to assist agents with their advice to lessors when dealing with asbestos. The videos provide guidance on how to locate possible asbestos containing materials and how to work with them safely.

Asbestos containing products or materials that are in good condition are not a risk, but they can be dangerous when disturbed, broken, sanded, cut or blasted with high pressure water. When disturbed, the materials can release asbestos fibres into the air presenting risks to health—and the fibres may not be visible.

The effects of exposure to asbestos can be serious and so removing and disposing of anything other than small amounts of asbestos materials must be done by licensed professionals.

A person conducting a business or undertaking the preparation or arranging for the removal of asbestos is required to hold a Class A asbestos removal licence to remove any amount of friable (crumbles easily) asbestos; and a Class B asbestos removal licence for the removal of anything more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos.

No asbestos removal licence is required to remove less than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos. However, there are still duties under work health and safety laws placed on the person removing less than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos around training, personal protective equipment, signage, safe removal practices, decontamination and waste containment and disposal.

Homeowners and DIY renovators wishing to remove non-friable asbestos must first ascertain the quantity to be removed. If there’s more than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos, they must first obtain a certificate approved by Queensland Health. 

Homeowners and DIY renovators must also comply with public health laws when removing non-friable asbestos such as training, PPE, safe removal practices, decontamination, and waste containment/disposal.

Homeowners and DIY renovators are not permitted to remove any amount of friable (crumbles easily) asbestos at all. Be aware that low density fibre board is classed as friable asbestos, even though it may appear similar in appearance to non-friable cement sheeting. If there is any uncertainty in the type of material present, a competent person should be engaged to assess all materials before work gets underway.

Watch the Locating asbestos films.

Find out more: Homeowner's certificate to remove asbestos

You can also read Asbestos safety alert water: Blasting roofs could prove costly.

Read more: Dealing with a change of co-tenancy.

Or browse our property management articles.

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