Asbestos is categorised as a hazardous substance. As a result, people who work with asbestos must have sufficient training on how to safely handle as well as transport the material.
It is a prerequisite in Australia to have a licence in order to handle or remove any material that has asbestos. It therefore means that a licence holder and the workforce covered by the licence are the only one permitted to work with asbestos.
In Australia, there are two types of licence that an asbestos’ remover can apply for. The licences include:
Unrestricted asbestos removal licence
The licence permits the removal of all forms of asbestos including the friable and non – friable asbestos.
Restricted asbestos removal licence
The licence allows the removal of asbestos in amounts that exceed 10 square meters of non-friable or bounded asbestos.
However, it is possible to remove asbestos in amounts that do not exceed 10 square meters without necessarily having a licence. Such removal of asbestos without a licence is governed by 10sq m rule. Besides, asbestos removed under this condition should be in bounded or non-friable form.
Asbestos Removal Regulations in Australia
Every state and territory in Australia has different regulations governing the safe removal of asbestos containing material.
The regulations that govern the removal of asbestos in each state are featured below.
1. New South Wale
You can obtain a licence through WorkCover, a body mandated to regulate asbestos licensing in New South Wale. The licence that you can obtain within this state include
Class A licence
The licence permits the holder to remove all forms of asbestos including friable and non-friable asbestos.
Class B licence
The licence holder can remove more than 10 square meters of bonded asbestos containing material.
Besides, an individual can remove asbestos without a licence in an area that does not exceed 10 square meters in New South Wale. However, you need to have sufficient training on how to handle asbestos containing material.
All the information and application procedure of asbestos licencing within this state can be obtained from Safework NSW.
The licencing of asbestos removal is done by SafeWork SA. You may not require to get a licence when removing:
- Insulating material primarily for maintenance work in an area not more than 0.5 meter square.
- Non-friable asbestos in an area that do not exceed 10 meter square.
However you will need limited licence in order to remove non-friable asbestos and unlimited licence to carry out the removal of all forms of asbestos containing material.
The asbestos removal licence is regulated by Workplace Standards Tasmania. You can remove asbestos without a licence when:
- A person needs to remove less than 100 meter square of asbestos-cement from a class 1a or a class 10 building.
- Removal of 20 meter square of asbestos-cement in a building that is not classified as class 10 or class 1a building
- Removing full glove bag of bounded or non-friable asbestos containing material.
You will require class B licence in order to remove non-friable asbestos, and a class A licence for all forms of asbestos removal. All licence holder must notify the Workplace Standards Tasmania 5 days prior to commencing any asbestos removal.
A licence can be obtained from the Victorian Government. In a circumstance that a person needs to remove asbestos in an area not exceeding 10 square meters of non-friable asbestos, you are not required to apply for a licence. However the work undertaken by one person should not exceed 1person hour within a period of 7 days.
You will be required to apply for:
Class A licence
For removal of asbestos containing material that are either bounded or unbounded.
Class B licence
For removal of non – friable asbestos in an area that exceeds 10 meter square.
A licence holder must notify the licencing body at least 5 days before commencing any asbestos removal work while the less than 10 square meter removal requires at least a 24 hour notification.
5. Western Australia
The Department of Commerce is mandated to issue asbestos removal licence in Western Australia. You are required to have restricted licence in order to remove non-friable asbestos while unrestricted licence is required in order to be in a position to remove all forms of asbestos.
It is not a requirement to have a licence when you are removing asbestos containing material in an area that does not exceed 10 square meters. Besides, a licence holder should notify WorkSafe Western Australia as practically as possible before undertaking any work in regards to asbestos removal.
There are two types of asbestos removal licence that you can be given within this state. The licences include
Class A licence
Class B asbestos removal licence
You can remove asbestos containing material without having a licence if the area in focus should not exceed 10 square meters. Moreover, the policy only apply for the removal of non-friable asbestos.
7. Northern Territory
You can apply for either limited or unlimited asbestos removal licence from NT WorkSafe. The licence is valid for a period of five years from the date of issue. Moreover, a licence holder should notify NT WorkSafe seven days before commencing any removal work.
Licence is not require for the removal of asbestos when:
- A person is removing asbestos in an area that does not exceed 10 square meters
- Asbestos containing material do not extend 1 meter in any direction when doing maintenance work.
8. Norfork Island
The Norfork Island WorkSafe is mandated to issue all the asbestos removal licences. An interested party can either apply for:
- Limited licence that allows the licence holder to remove non-friable asbestos in an area that exceeds 10 square meters
- Unlimited licence that allows an individual to remove both friable and non – friable asbestos.
However, when the region that you intend to remove asbestos is less than 10 square meters, an individual is not require to have a licence.
All the states in Australia require that a licence holder should:
- Be above 18 years
- Should have at least three years of experience in the handling asbestos material