Asbestos Testing and Surveys
The first step towards providing a safe workplace and complying with your WHS legislative requirements is to engage with an experienced consultant to undertake asbestos testing and a survey, then develop an asbestos register and asbestos management plan.
You wouldn’t do electrical wiring without training, the same is true for managing, handling or removing any asbestos. Get a quote today and let our experts handle your asbestos issues safely and professionally.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, fibrous silicate mineral that was used in building materials due to its resistive physical properties. This included thermal stability and resistance, high tensile strength, fire resistance, heat and noise insulative properties and it was a good binder.
It was also cheap and solved many material design problems. Australia was one of the highest users of asbestos in the world, with its wide spread leaving a legacy of asbestos-containing materials within our built environment.
In December 2003, asbestos was banned in Australia, making it illegal to import, store, supply, sell, install, use or reuse asbestos materials. Therefore, if you are carrying out building work on premises built before 2004, it is imperative that you check whether you have Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) within your structure.
To comply with relevant state regulations and codes of practice, a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has the responsibility to ensure that the correct asbestos testing is carried out to identify and manage the risk of any ACMs that are present.
What are the types of asbestos testing?
The main types of asbestos surveys and testing are as follows:
Asbestos Management Survey
Asbestos Demolition / Refurbishment Survey
Asbestos Management Surveys
These are designed to locate and detail the extent and condition of any asbestos within your structure, as well as assess the risk the ACMs present under normal occupation.
Asbestos Re-inspection Surveys
These aim to re-assess the condition of previously identified asbestos within a building to ensure the material has not been damaged or degraded since the previous inspection.
As a rule, asbestos management surveys and re-inspections surveys are relatively non-intrusive. Asbestos management surveys are designed to cover all accessible parts of a building and can be carried out around normal day-to-day use, including maintenance and repairs.
Asbestos Demolition / Refurbishments
These surveys are project specific and must be completed before any work is undertaken. They are designed to locate and detail the extent and condition of the asbestos present and assess the risk of any ACMs being impacted upon by demolition or refurbishment works. Refurbishment includes any alterations to:
Fittings of the building.
A demolition/refurbishment survey is more intrusive than a management or re-inspection survey as it is designed to locate concealed ACMs. This can include taking steps such as breaking through walls to access behind cladding or uprooting floor coverings.
All of the surveys above will outline the remedial actions needed for any ACM’s found, such as maintenance, removal or encapsulation. The survey will also provide guidance on licenses that need to be held by relevant parties.
A key part of any survey is the safe and secure collection of samples of potential ACMs for laboratory testing and confirmation (or otherwise) of the type and condition of any asbestos being present.
How does asbestos testing work?
We only allow a competent person to undertake asbestos testing and this person will follow all legally required safety procedures and guidelines.
There are four steps that we typically take when testing for asbestos:
Step 1 - Prepare the area
The area being tested needs to be completely cleared during the sampling to ensure minimal disturbance to potential asbestos fibres. To keep spread to a minimum, any heating or cooling equipment needs to be shut down, keeping the surrounding air still during exposure.Disturbance to fibres will be kept as low as possible at all times. Only legally compliant, up to date and safe testing equipment will be used on site.
Step 2 - Perform the test
Our experts will ensure that the area is sealed and safe and that they are wearing the necessary protective equipment during the process. We will layer protective materials around the affected area to catch any loose debris and fibres, ensuring that we can properly dispose of the substances if necessary.
We will use recognised best practice methodologies to collect samples without disturbing a large area of fibres. A sample will be collected and contained in a properly labelled, sealed container. It will be stored safely whilst any required clean-up is undertaken.
Step 3 - Clean and secure the area
Once the sample has been taken, the affected area will be thoroughly cleaned and secured. Any loose fibres will be removed and disposed of. The sample area will be cleaned and sealed off to prevent further exposure whilst the sample is tested in our labs.All PPE will be placed into a properly labelled, sealed disposal container and removed from the site along with any other waste from the sampling. These will be disposed of correctly, following the local, legal guidelines.
Step 4 - The sample is sent to our labsThe sample will need to be sent and transported safely, meaning that our team needs to comply with the correct packaging requirements for hazardous materials.The sample will be thoroughly wrapped, secured and labelled. This will ensure that there is no exposure during travel and that the sample itself isn’t contaminated, therefore lab results will be true and authentic to the sample site.
Asbestos Testing For Your Workplace
At EDP, we have a large team of experienced experts who specialise in dealing with asbestos and subsequent management services. Our licenced asbestos assessors will undertake and manage any asbestos-related project and ensure ultimate safety for all, at all times.
We’re fully equipped with the latest range of analytical instruments needed to respond to potentially unsafe, asbestos-related scenarios and can mobilise on-site and provide instant results where needed.
How much does asbestos testing cost?
We offer NATA accredited asbestos testing services with costs depending on the number of samples taken and how quickly test results are required.
What happens after an asbestos test?
After your test has been completed at the lab, you will be notified of the results. If there is no asbestos present in your building, you will be cleared and issued the relevant certification to show this. If further testing is needed, we will communicate this to you as soon as possible to arrange it.If the sample shows asbestos is present, we will discuss with you the plan for further action, what needs to be done and to what timescale. At EDP, we offer full asbestos services including safe removal, so we can easily follow up with appropriate actions following the sample test results.
What areas do you cover?
We cover areas across Australia and can provide asbestos testing wherever it is required, including:
Get in touch with us to find out whether our services will be available to you.