Home' Moorabool Matters : Moorabool Matters April 2011 Contents AustRALIA dAy 2010
10 mooRABooL mAtteRs - CommunIty newsLetteR APRIL 2011
AustRALIA dAy 2010
possiBle asBestos risk During
Householders and workplaces cleaning up after flooding need to
take safety precautions if working with asbestos.
Asbestos cement products may be present in the buildings which
were built up until the late 1980s, in materials like vinyl floor tiles,
cement roof sheeting and wall lining.
In general, asbestos in building material isn’t risky unless the
material is damaged or deteriorated – which could occur during
flooding or clean-up activities.
If you’re cleaning up after flooding and handling materials which
may contain asbestos, you need to take precautions to protect
yourself and those around you.
If you’re not sure whether your home or workplace contains
asbestos, you should treat it as if it does. The best thing you can
do is make yourself aware of the guidance on how to go about
removing asbestos from homes, requirements on removing
asbestos from workplaces, and information on how to dispose of
You can also contact Council on (03) 5366 7100 for more
information on staying safe while cleaning up after flooding.
removing asbestos from homes:
A householder may legally remove small amounts of asbestos from
their own property. If you are working with asbestos:
Always wear protective gear including disposable coveralls
and a particulate half-face P1 or P2 disposable mask or a filter
respirator fitted with a class P1 or P2 filter cartridge.
Minimise breakage or cutting of the asbestos material. Don’t
use power tools, abrasive cutting or sanding discs, compressed
air, or high pressure water on asbestos-containing materials.
If it’s not already wet, wet down the asbestos material by
lightly spraying with water.
Wrap the asbestos material in layers of polythene sheeting
or in polythene bags that are approximately 0.2mm thick and
seal with adhesive tape.
Clearly label the bags to indicate the presence of asbestos.
Don’t leave asbestos-containing products around the garden
where it may be broken or crushed.
Dispose of the asbestos-containing material at a licensed
asbestos waste disposal site in your area.
For more information: The Department of Health publishes
guidance called Asbestos in the Home, and the Building Commission
publishes an Asbestos Fact Sheet
removing asbestos from workplaces:
Employers have obligations under occupational health and
safety laws towards workers and volunteers who are assisting
with asbestos removal.
Your workplace should have an asbestos register, which
details the location of any asbestos and the type (friable or
If your workplace does not have a register or it is not
known whether asbestos is present, removal work must
not begin until asbestos is confirmed to be present or not.
Alternatively, the material can be treated as asbestos. To
find someone who is trained to identify suspected asbestos,
visit the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)
website (using the search function, search for ‘asbestos’ and
tick ‘type of test’) .
For workplaces, generally asbestos removal must be carried
out by a removalist licenced by WorkSafe Victoria. Class A
licence holders can remove all forms of asbestos (friable and
non-friable) and Class B licence holders can remove all forms
of non-friable asbestos material (such as asbestos cement
sheeting and vinyl tiles).
For more information: WorkSafe Victoria publishes guidance called
Disposing of asbestos:
Asbestos is classified as a hazardous material and there
are strict EPA guidelines about how it should be packaged,
transported and disposed of.
Only sites licensed by the EPA are permitted to accept
asbestos waste. In flood circumstances, the EPA has approved
extra sites to accept asbestos. For approved sites visit
A householder may transport their own asbestos to a
licensed landfill for disposal without transport certificates
or a permitted vehicle – but need to handle and package
asbestos material according to EPA guidelines. Alternatively
homeowners can contract a licensed asbestos removalist.
The disposal of all asbestos from commercial premises
is required to be conducted in accordance with industry
guidelines and transported to a licensed landfill authorised
to accept asbestos. There is no change to guidelines in this
For more information: the Environment Protection Authority
publishes guidance called Asbestos Transport and Disposal.
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