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One of the items you would need to cross off your commercial property assessment checklist is to confirm whether it contains asbestos. This is especially so when you consider the wide use of asbestos in the construction industry in times past. A foremost reason for considering asbestos inspection and asbestos removal in your commercial building is the severe health hazard that asbestos exposure poses.
You would also want to take steps to ensure that commercial asbestos removal is safe and does not put people at risk of exposure. This is one reason to opt for professional asbestos removal in commercial buildings.
Here, we will unpack the importance of professional asbestos removal in commercial buildings by considering the reasons to choose professional asbestos removal. You can also learn about the process for removing asbestos from commercial buildings, asbestos management plans, and asbestos registers. Read on!
Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is naturally occurring and is a mineral that consists of tiny fibres. It was used in the construction industry because of physical properties such as strength, durability, and heat resistance.
For example, it was commonly used in building materials. However, disturbed asbestos can release asbestos fibres that cause health complications when you inhale them. Asbestos exposure is directly linked with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
As such, it is crucial to promptly identify asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present in your commercial property and perform safe asbestos removal or sealing. This is important since asbestos in commercial buildings threatens building owners, managers, employees, and customers in Australia.
Requirements for Commercial Asbestos Removal
Commercial asbestos removal typically involves the removal of ACMs from your commercial property. Additionally:
- It is a specialised process requiring experience, skill and training to safely identify and remove hazardous materials.
- The process involves implementing safety measures such as using personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid further release of asbestos fibres.
- The process must follow all local, state and federal laws and regulations on asbestos management.
- You must perform an inspection survey to identify ACMs before you proceed to safely remove them.
Why Choose Professional Asbestos Removal?
It is crucial to seek the services of a professional asbestos testing and removal company if you are moving into old offices or simply renovating an existing one. You should get a service that has experience in safely removing asbestos from commercial buildings.
Here are some reasons why you should hire a professional asbestos removal company:
Strict local, state, and federal regulations guide the removal and disposal of asbestos. Government agencies only recommend DIY asbestos removal to a small extent. Hiring a professional asbestos removalist is crucial to ensure the asbestos removal process is safe and legal. You can avoid potential legal penalties and consequences such as fines. These consequences are outlined in the Health Act 1958 and the Building Act 1993.
Safety of all stakeholders
You must ensure the health and safety of all entering your commercial building. This includes protecting your contractors, visitors, employees and customers from exposure to asbestos in your commercial property. As such, you have to be responsible for performing an asbestos inspection and assessment and asbestos removal and sealing as necessary.
Access to specialised equipment
Professional asbestos removal services are most likely to have access to specialised protective equipment that you may not have access to. This includes full-face masks, respirators, and safety suits.
These tools are essential to ensure that you safely contain hazardous materials and protect humans and the environment and the environment from the asbestos removal process.
Bringing Commercial Buildings Up to Code
A commercial asbestos removalist is experienced and more familiar with the documentation processes that confirm that your property is up to code. They can also help you ensure your commercial building is safe for occupancy and ready for business.
Expertise in thorough identification and removal
Correct identification of asbestos is an essential step in managing asbestos. You may not have the knowledge and expertise to identify, remove, and avoid asbestos exposure.
A professional asbestos removal company has the experience to identify various types of asbestos in a commercial property. They have the right to asbestos information and can apply it when handling asbestos in a way that prevents serious health risks and avoids legal ramifications.
Ultimately, they can provide services that include monitoring and testing for asbestos and removing asbestos-containing materials. At the same time, they will implement steps aimed at lowering the risk of asbestos exposure.
Improved real estate value
There is an enhancement to building value and reputation that relates to asbestos removal for commercial buildings. You eliminate asbestos hazards from commercial buildings and increase their real estate market value. As a result, potential buyers and tenants will be more open to investing in the properties.
Removing Asbestos from Commercial Buildings
A commercial asbestos removal process typically includes the following:
- Your asbestos removalist assesses the disturbed asbestos according to its type and thickness. In other words, they may use an asbestos inspection checklist to identify asbestos as a first step in managing asbestos in commercial buildings.
- Another early step is to check on asbestos registers and management plans and identify any risk of asbestos exposure.
- They will calculate the amount of asbestos in the air.
- Control measures for asbestos are implemented. This includes eliminating, substituting, isolating, or managing the risk.
- They may perform asbestos removal using sealants and other methods.
- They can also recommend providing health surveillance if there is a risk of exposure.
- Licensed asbestos removalists may vacuum microfibers in air and surfaces and install new installations if needed.
- Periodic review of control measures and notification of Safe Work Australia in exposure cases are ensured.
Commercial Asbestos Testing and Identification
The best way to tell if a product or material contains asbestos is by testing for it. A professional asbestos removal company can confirm the presence of asbestos in your property. Asbestos abatement experts usually begin by thoroughly testing asbestos samples in a NATA.
Workplace asbestos safety laws and regulations
You need to know some laws and regulations regarding asbestos in commercial property in Australia.
- Building owners and managers must take the required steps to keep their buildings free from ACMs as a legal responsibility.
- You cannot use asbestos in building materials as it has been banned in Australia since 2003.
- Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations specify that employers must identify asbestos-containing materials in their buildings and properly manage associated risks.
What asbestos can you legally and safely remove?
As a householder, you can follow safe removal and disposal procedures to manage specific categories of asbestos. You can remove non-friable asbestos material from your property if the coverage does not exceed 10 m2.
The time spent removing such asbestos should not exceed one hour within any 7-day.
Otherwise, it is legally obligated to hire a licensed asbestos removal company for asbestos removal.
Asbestos Management Plans
Property owners, facility managers, work supervisors, or commercial site contractors are responsible for proper asbestos management. You specifically have to ensure the site develops and maintains an asbestos management plan if the workplace has asbestos.
This asbestos management plan has to include the location of the asbestos register and clear signage and labelling of asbestos workspaces or areas. In addition, there should be control measures and safe work procedures. Your plan needs a review at least every five years or when a health and safety representative requests it.
You must keep an updated asbestos register if your workplace was built before 2004 or if you think asbestos is present. This asbestos register should outline the location or presumed location, the type, and the condition of asbestos. Likewise, it would help if you made the asbestos register fully available to anyone likely to be exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos awareness training
Another requirement is that you should provide asbestos awareness training for anyone who may come into contact with or who has a reasonable likelihood of disturbing asbestos in the course of their everyday work.
The training content should include the dangers of asbestos, precautions and safety measures, and how to recognise naturally occurring asbestos and other forms of asbestos.
Get Professional Commercial Asbestos Removal
You have now read up on the importance of professional asbestos removal in commercial buildings. You also know more about the health risks of asbestos exposure and requirements for commercial asbestos removal.
Inviting a professional asbestos removalist is best if you suspect you have asbestos in your commercial building. They can help you implement safety measures and remove asbestos to keep your employees and customers safe.