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Asbestos Assessments And Remediation For Mr Fluffy Houses -  Update

Asbestos Assessments And Remediation For Mr Fluffy Houses - Update

31 October 2014 Asbestos Taskforce

The information below outlines the purpose of an asbestos assessment carried out by a Class A licensed asbestos assessor and any short term remediation/hazard reduction work recommended to be done in houses.

This information has also been developed into a hard copy brochure which will be provided to homeowners at the time future asbestos assessments or remediation works are booked for properties.

If you have any further questions on assessments and remediation/hazard reduction please email asbestostaskforce@act.gov.au

 

Who are licensed asbestos assessors?

In the ACT, a Class A licensed asbestos assessor is licensed to:

  • identify the location, type and condition of asbestos;
  • assess the risk resulting from the identified asbestos; and
  • advise how the asbestos should be managed.

Class A assessors are tertiary qualified, experienced in construction and have mandatory competency requirements.

 

What is an asbestos assessment?

The Taskforce has advised assessors that the purpose of an asbestos assessment is to:

  • gauge contamination of internal living areas in affected houses and recommend vacation if required; and
  • recommend short term remediation/hazard reduction measures to remove any asbestos fibres found and reduce the risk of further fibre entry from contaminated cavities, allowing you to stay in your home if you wish.

 

How is an assessment undertaken?

The assessor will:

  • inspect and take dust samples of interior occupied rooms only – this may involve taking 8-10 settled dust samples for analysis by an accredited laboratory;
  • use a tape, duct tape, petri collection dishes or sampling pumps to take settled dust samples;
  • examine cracks and damage in walls, ceilings and floors, and take photos;
  • advise you to vacate the house if the contamination is extensive or there are many areas of damage that increase the risk of fibres entering living areas;
  • advise you if any soft furnishings should be disposed of as contaminated asbestos waste by a licensed asbestos removalist;
  • provide you, Worksafe ACT and the Taskforce with a report.

 

What won’t the assessor do?

The assessor will not:

  • need to collect samples from every area of a house to gauge contamination. They will use their expertise on selecting areas to test. You can discuss this with your assessor if you have any concerns;
  • conduct air sampling, smoke testing, invasive camera inspections or assess cavities such as the subfloor or roof;
  • identify other asbestos containing materials in the home (e.g. eaves fibro sheeting)
  • issue ‘clearance certificates’ – these are not valid for homes where only a partial hazard reduction has been carried out and asbestos has not been fully removed from walls, ceilings, or floor cavities.

 

What can I do?

  • ask to see the assessor’s license on arrival;
  • ask questions of the assessor at any time during the assessment;
  • contact WorkSafe ACT (6207 3000) or the Taskforce (13 22 81) if you have concerns or further questions;
  • follow up directly with the assessor if you do not receive your assessment report in a timely period (usually within 3 weeks); and
  • if you organised the assessment yourself using a licensed assessor, please send a copy of the report, invoice and bank details for reimbursement to the Taskforce at asbestostaskforce@act.gov.au

 

What should the report of your house contain?

Following the assessment the assessor will provide you with a written report that contains:

  • results of the dust sampling and anywhere asbestos fibres have been found;
  • advice to vacate your home if damage and contamination of your living areas, in their judgment, warrants this action; and
  • recommendations to a licensed asbestos removalist on any hazard reduction work.

 

What costs will the Taskforce reimburse?

The Taskforce will reimburse the costs (up to your financial assistance package limit) of:

  • the assessment report if your house is an affected home;
  • reasonable remediation/hazard reduction costs carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist, as a result of an assessment report for:
  • preventing access to the subfloor, walls and ceiling cavities, and contaminated areas identified through settled dust sampling;sealing fibre entry points of open living areas - but not significant building works that would require building approval; and
  • cleaning of hard surfaces within the living spaces using an approved asbestos vacuum cleaner and wet cloths.

 

What costs will the Taskforce not reimburse?

The Taskforce will not reimburse the costs of:

  • assessments that go beyond the living areas (e.g. floor, ceiling, roof spaces);
  • air monitoring or clearance certificates;
  • assessments that are not to support continued occupancy (eg. related to building work, sale of property); and
  • any costs in excess of the financial assistance package

 

Is my house safe?

The asbestos assessment will give an indication of any contamination within a home, based on the samples collected and professional judgement. It is not possible to sample the entire home, and the available techniques cannot ensure all fibres are detected.

Temporary remediation/hazard reduction works address fibre contamination identified through the assessment process and assist in reducing potential future contamination. These works make houses safer in the short to medium term than if these works were not undertaken.

However it is not possible to guarantee a house is “safe” due to the nature of this issue.

 

For any further inquiries please contact the Asbestos Taskforce

 

Call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81
Email asbestostaskforce@act.gov.au
Follow on Twitter @TaskforceACT
Visit the website at www.act.gov.au/asbestostaskforce