WHS duties

WHS duties for businesses who work with asbestos 

Under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations, you must: 

  • train all workers who might work with asbestos 

  • arrange safe asbestos removal 

  • keep an asbestos register 

  • have an asbestos management plan 

  • have a licence to remove asbestos. 

The model Code of Practice: How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace guides you on how to identify asbestos, create an asbestos register and manage asbestos risks. 

Asbestos safety videos 

These videos may help you work around asbestos safely: 

Use labels for asbestos at the workplace 

Marking where asbestos is (and where it could be) helps workers stay safe. 

If possible, you should use a label. For example, put a label in the electrical meter box showing: 

  • the building has asbestos 

  • where you keep the asbestos register. 

If labelling is not possible, you may: 

  • signpost the area with warning signs that comply with AS 1319-1994. Signs should also be placed at all the main entrances to the work areas where asbestos is identified.  

  • Implement a Permit-To-Work system workers are made aware of the asbestos before they start working at the site. 

  • Make site plans available to all workers to indicate where asbestos is in the workplace. 

Health monitoring for workers 

You must provide and pay for health monitoring for workers who work with asbestos, or could be exposed to asbestos-related work. 

Asbestos removal licences 

Asbestos licences are different across states and territories. Contact the WHS regulator in the state or territory where the asbestos removal is happening for more information. 

You need a licence to remove asbestos. In some states or territories, you may be able to remove asbestos without a licence in certain situations. You should contact your WHS regulator for more information. These situations are limited to: 

  • you’re removing 10 square metres or less of non-friable asbestos (except in the ACT, where to remove any asbestos requires a licence) 

  • you're removing asbestos-contaminated dust and debris made during the removal of 10 square metres or less of non-friable asbestos, or 

  • you're removing a minor contamination of asbestos

Even if you don’t need a licence, you might need training in asbestos awareness and identification. 

There are 3 licences in the model WHS Regulations:  

  • Class A Removalist – can remove all types of asbestos 

  • Class B Removalist – can only remove non-friable asbestos 

  • Licensed Asbestos Assessor – can do air monitoring, clearance inspections and issue clearance certificates for Class A removalist work. 

The model Code of Practice: How to safely remove asbestos guides asbestos removal.