Managing risks

If you’re a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you must identify, assess and control hazards in the workplace. You should always aim to eliminate risks. If that’s not possible, you must minimise risks so far as is reasonably practicable. 

Managing the risks of asbestos includes: 

  • identifying asbestos and asbestos-containing material at the workplace  

  • recording identified material in an asbestos register 

  • assessing the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos 

  • eliminating or minimising the risks of asbestos by using control measures 

  • reviewing control measures to make sure they are working. 

Asbestos registers 

You must make an asbestos register document if you have asbestos in your workplace. You must: 

  • maintain it to ensure up-to-date information 

  • give it to the next PCBU of the workplace. 

Your register records asbestos you have identified or assume to be at the workplace. It must have: 

  • the date someone identified the asbestos 

  • the location, type and condition of the asbestos 

It can also have: 

  • details about asbestos that is assumed to be present at the workplace 

  • analysis results confirming whether asbestos is at the workplace 

  • details of inaccessible areas. 

If the workplace was built after 31 December 2003 and there’s no asbestos identified or likely to be present, you’re not required to have a register. 

Asbestos management plan 

You must have an asbestos management plan if there’s asbestos in your workplace. 

The management plan must include: 

  • the asbestos location 

  • how you will manage it, and why you made those decisions – for example, your safe work procedures and control measures 

  • incident and emergency procedures, and who handles what 

  • responsibilities and training requirements for workers whose work involves asbestos 

You can also include: 

  • an outline of how you’ll control asbestos risks, including control measures 

  • a timetable for managing exposure risks of exposure, including dates and procedures for reviewing the asbestos management plan and activities that could affect review timings 

  • who has responsibilities under the management plan 

  • air monitoring procedures at the workplace. 

You must make the management plan available to anyone who needs it. 

You must also keep the plan up to date and review it:  

  • at least every 5 years 

  • when a health and safety representative requests it  

  • when asbestos is removed, disturbed, sealed or enclosed 

  • when there are changes to a control measure 

  • when you need a better plan.