Industry Insights

Are you responsible for asbestos management?

The Health & Safety At Work Act 2016, defines two roles with a duty of care for asbestos management, they are a:

  • PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking). An ‘undertaking’ covers not-for profit organisations like schools, charities and government departments.
  • PCBU with management or control of a workplace

A PCBU could be a building contractor, building owner or lead contractor on either a commercial or residential construction site.

As a PCBU, you have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. Given asbestos is the number one workplace killer in New Zealand, there are stringent controls and legislation governing its management.

If your building holds asbestos containing materials (ACM’s), you need to ensure that there is an Asbestos Management Plan in place and that those who occupy the premises, or carry out work on it, adhere to it. You also have a responsibility to periodically review the plan.

What is involved in an asbestos management plan?

The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 stipulate that the asbestos management plan must include information about the following:

  1. The identification of asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials:
  2. Decisions and reasons for decisions, about the management of the risk arising from asbestos at the workplace
  3. Procedures for detailing incidents or emergencies involving asbestos or ACM at the workplace:
  4. The workers who carry out work involving asbestos, including:
    • information and training that has been and will be provided to the workers
    • roles and responsibilities of the workers
    • any health monitoring of the workers that has been or will be undertaken.

The plan must be available to “a worker who has carried out, carries out, or intends to carry out work at the workplace”.

But it’s not set and forget

PCBU’s also have a duty to review their asbestos management plan.

The Act also stipulates that a PCBU that has an asbestos management plan, must ensure that the plan is reviewed and, if necessary, revised if:

  1. There is a review of a control measure
  2. Asbestos is removed from, disturbed, sealed, or enclosed at the workplace
  3. The plan is no longer adequate for managing the risk arising from asbestos or ACM at the workplace
  4. A representative requests a review under sub-clause (2)
  5. Five years have passed since the plan was last reviewed
  6. A representative for workers at a workplace requests a review of an asbestos management

Fibresafe NZ Plans

Ensure you meet your legislative requirements

Fibresafe NZ Asbestos Management Plans identifies the risks posed by the asbestos present in your property and sets out procedures to control them and involves:

  • Risk assessments
  • Action planning, monitoring and re-inspection processes
  • Roles and responsibilities of key personnel
  • Duties of the Asbestos Coordinator
  • Policies and procedures for emergencies, refurbishments, day-to-day operations and for other less usual work or tasks
  • Dissemination of information to appropriate parties
  • Training requirements for staff
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