Project Overview

Laing O’Rourke was successfully awarded the recent NSW Public Works Advisory 'Make Safe and Clean Up Program’ requiring the remediation of thousands of residential properties that had been affected by the 2019/20 devastating fires.  Many of the homes devastated by the fires had been constructed from or had some form of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) used in their construction. 

These ACMs added additional hazards to the clean-up works for Laing O’Rourke, their sub-contractors and the community to manage.  Controlling and mitigating these risks and hazards was a complex exercise, as each site was unique in terms of the type and extent of asbestos, hazardous materials, and environmental risks.

Laing O’Rourke was operating a high-profile programme of work very much under the scrutiny of NSW and Commonwealth Governments and the public, they had to ensure all aspects of the programme were undertaken safely and to the high standards expected by the community.

Laing O’Rourke engaged EDP to guide and assist them as they navigated the asbestos, hazardous materials and environmental project challenges.

What we did for the client 

EDP provided asbestos, hazardous materials and environmental consulting services throughout the term of the project, this included the following:

  • Asbestos Management Plan development for the project.
  • On site consultant services relating to asbestos, hazardous materials and waste.
  • Site inspections – scoping of sites to determine contamination and remediation extent.
  • Asbestos awareness training (virtual) to LOR staff and contractors.
  • Environmental advice (asbestos in soil and other contaminants from the fires).
  • Review and update of the Emergency Waste Management Plan for the project.
  • Ad-hoc phone advice and recommendations.
  • Round the clock support to LOR Field Staff.
  • Development and review of safe work procedures for contractors on site.
  • Waste classifications for offsite disposal, including NSW EPA pre-classification approvals.

Benefits & outcomes

EDP’s responsiveness and expertise enabled Laing O’Rourke (LOR) to rapidly deploy resources to commence and sustain a programme of assessment and clean up over 3000 properties or buildings across NSW, doing so safely and in line with a range of code of practice requirements, particularly Asbestos Management Practices.

By rapidly building an understanding and assimilating the unique circumstances of the project, EDP was able to develop an Asbestos Management Plan that considered the relationships between Laing O’Rourke, the regulators, NSW Government, property owners, the community, subcontractors, Class A asbestos removal contractors and Licensed Asbestos Assessors (LAAs) working across the programme.

LOR was able to draw from and utilise EDP’s wealth of knowledge and experience in relation to asbestos, environmental, waste and health risk management for the project. 

Assured of EDP’s expertise in these fields, LOR was able to rely on EDP for responsive advice and guidance across a range of technical disciplines to support the programme of work.

EDP was able to identify and implement efficient and effective solutions in relation to compliance with legislative requirements.  This ensured that throughout the programme LOR was able to maintain an effective level of assurance across its subcontractors and maintain an overview of the clean-up programme as a whole.

LOR acknowledged that the benefits of using EDP were their responsiveness, their pragmatism, and the wealth of experience within EDP’s team. EDP regularly provided additional advice and recommendations to assist LOR’s management of the project. 

EDP surveyed approximately 1,400 properties for LOR and developed asbestos removal specifications, ensuring that impact zones were delineated appropriately. This approach assisted in reducing the levels of surplus unimpacted soil being taken off site as asbestos waste, delivering a substantial cost saving to the project. This in turn allowed LOR to provide detailed work packs to the contractors and maintain clear scope and predictability of the waste volumes. 


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