Your Guide to Developing an Asbestos Management Plan

asbestos managementAn asbestos management plan raises several questions. Who should have one? What should be included? What if we share the building with other businesses?

Here we answer these questions as well as give tips on how to structure an asbestos management plan.

Who needs an asbestos management plan?

Not all businesses require an asbestos management plan. You only need to create one for your workplace if you suspect your building has asbestos or asbestos has already been identified.

If the building where you work was constructed after December of 2003, you can safely assume it is free of asbestos and you do not require an asbestos management plan.

For those working in older buildings where checks for asbestos have not yet been made, it is best to take a proactive role: employ a surveyor specializing in asbestos to assess the building and create a management plan.

What should be in an asbestos management plan?

The main parts of the asbestos management plan are the details on:

  • The area/s in your workplace where asbestos is present.
  • The actions your business will take to manage asbestos risk (e.g. removal or encapsulation).
  • Your company’s procedures for carrying out essential work that risks disturbing the asbestos.
  • A timetable for managing exposure risks to help you prioritise tasks (e.g. dates for removals or reviews).
  • Your procedure for recording asbestos incidents or emergencies and for updating or revising the management plan. Note that this has to be updated at a minimum of once every five years.

In addition, it is best if your plan also includes the following:

  • A foreword containing government policies, the legislative requirements and your agency’s policy on asbestos.
  • A document control system to indicate how many versions and revisions the asbestos management plan has undergone, and who made the changes.
  • A list of designated personnel with roles in managing risks needs to be kept up-to-date.
  • Other attachments such as the schedule of personnel asbestos safety briefings.

A Few Considerations

Aside from reviewing your asbestos management plan every five years, the health and safety officer may request your plan to be reviewed. These instances include after asbestos is removed, disturbed or sealed, as these events can render safety measures unnecessary or inadequate.

For businesses operating in areas where air monitoring is required, monitoring procedures will also need to be outlined in the firm’s asbestos management plan.

What if we share the building with other businesses?

If you share a building with other businesses, the major duty of responsibility rests with the property’s owner. However, this does not excuse your company from managing asbestos risks. For a clearer idea of your company’s responsibilities and best operating procedures, consult a professional. They will help identify asbestos safety procedures when operating in a location with other businesses, and during any removal or renovations that may increase the risk of exposure.

Strengthening Control Measures

For further guidance, you can approach us at eoshconsulting.com. We have years of experience and an Asia-Pacific wide network of consultants that helps us come up with smart, practical and cost-efficient asbestos management solutions.

Contact EOSH Consulting today.