Asbestos removal and clearance
The model WHS Regulations set out the training and competency requirements for asbestos assessors, asbestos removal workers and supervisors.
Under the model WHS Regulations two licences have been established— Class A and Class B.
Businesses with a Class A licence are permitted to remove all types of asbestos, including both friable and non-friable asbestos.
Businesses with a Class B licence can only remove non-friable asbestos.
Friable asbestos is material containing asbestos that when dry, is in powder form or may be crushed or pulverised into powder form by hand pressure. This material poses a higher risk of exposing people to airborne asbestos fibres.
Non-friable asbestos is all forms of asbestos other than friable asbestos and includes asbestos cement sheeting and other materials where asbestos fibres are bonded into a matrix. If non-friable asbestos is damaged or degraded it may become friable and will then pose a higher risk of fibre release.
The model WHS Regulations also set out a new licence category for asbestos assessors. The role of the licensed asbestos assessor is to carry out air monitoring and clearance inspections following removal of friable asbestos.
Training and licensing
Persons undertaking asbestos removal are required to be appropriately trained and to hold a licence. The Commonwealth, state and territory work health and safety regulators administer licences for asbestos removal in their jurisdiction. If you would like to apply for or renew your asbestos removal licence or have questions relating to your licence please contact your work health and safety regulator.
Information on the units of competency required under the model WHS Regulations for asbestos removal, asbestos removal supervision and asbestos assessors can be found at the following links:
- Friable Asbestos Removal (Class A license only)
- Non-Friable Asbestos Removal
- Asbestos Removal Supervision
- Asbestos Assessors
For more information on requirements for asbestos removal and clearance go to:
- Chapter 8 of the model WHS Regulations
- model Code of Practice: How to Safely Remove Asbestos, and
- model Code of Practice: How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace.
- ‘Minor contamination’ of asbestos-containing dust or debris fact sheet
- Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Fibres 2nd Edition
Transitional arrangements for existing licence holders are being established in jurisdictions that have implemented the model WHS Regulations.
For more information about transitional arrangements in your jurisdiction go to transitional principles for implementing the model Work Health and Safety Act.