Decades ago, asbestos was favoured as a building material due to its heat resistance and high tensile strength. However, as years went by, it was discovered that asbestos released toxic fibres over time that led to environmental and public health concerns. As a result, the material was banned in Australia, but some old buildings, especially offices, still contain asbestos. Any workplace should strive to reduce the exposure of its staff to asbestos. Here are some top tips for the effective removal of asbestos from the workplace.
Inventory of Asbestos at the Workplace
A good starting point in getting rid of asbestos in a workplace is to know where the material is located. An asbestos removal company can help with investigating sources of asbestos. The expert will use both observation and other techniques to identify places where asbestos might be hidden. The next step is to record the location where the asbestos was identified. Notably, the information must be put in an asbestos register. Such a requirement not only protects your workers but is also a legal requirement for workplaces in Australia. The common type of information in the asbestos register includes the location, date when the asbestos was identified and condition of the asbestos-containing material. Also, ensure that the records are updated as frequently as possible.
As mentioned before, the process of handling asbestos should be left to experts because any disturbance can trigger the release of fibres in the air, which might affect the entire workplace. Also, remember that the removal process may take a few days, and thus, prior arrangements should be made to relocate your staff temporarily. It is also recommended that one wears proper personal protective equipment such as overalls and certified dust masks during the removal process. The removal process is very delicate to prevent the breakage of materials into small pieces. After all the asbestos material is collected, it is then double-bagged in special plastic sheeting and securely sealed. All the sealed sheeting should be labelled as asbestos waste. Similarly, wrap all the protective clothing ready for disposal.
It is illegal to dispose of asbestos in a normal skip bin as you would any workplace garbage. Doing so can lead to heavy fines or legal proceedings instituted against you and your organisation for posing severe health threats to waste handlers. When you hire an asbestos removal professional, they will know how to dispose of asbestos material properly according to the laws in your jurisdiction.