An Asbestos Management Plan is a document that helps people managing a building prevent exposure to asbestos and protect site personnel and visitors.
The Asbestos Management Plan is intended to be a simple, centrally placed document that includes:
- the nominated asbestos control officer
- an asbestos survey and register containing all relevant information from an asbestos investigation, such as the amount and location of asbestos
- ongoing and upcoming tasks that may interfere with asbestos containing materials (ACM)
- an activity schedule for monitoring the status of ACM
- explicit instructions and a plan for anyone who may interfere with asbestos.
Asbestos management plans can be recorded on paper, but nowadays companies often find it simpler to record their plans electronically.
Asbestos management plans can be either asset-based (for complex buildings) or project-based (for construction projects).
Asbestos management plans should include plans for ongoing asbestos investigations to manage risks and to comply with Work Health and Safety Regulations and Safe Work Australia guidelines.
Who needs an asbestos management plan?
You don’t need an asbestos management plan if your workplace was built after 31 December 2003.
For buildings constructed earlier, you need an asbestos management plan if asbestos has been identified in your workplace, either based on surveys or asbestos registration. If you’ve had a survey and no asbestos has been found, you don’t need an asbestos management plan.
What to include in an asbestos management plan
A good asbestos management plan includes:
- a detailed report on the location and amount of asbestos
- a strong plan on how to work safely to avoid the potential disturbance of ACM.
- how to manage and monitor ACM, along with a complete implementation strategy
- the length of time required to comply with applicable work health and safety laws and norms in order to be fully compliant.
- roles and responsibilities of owners and managers
- training needs and training plans to be implemented
- for work carried out in real estate, project management guidelines, clear audit trails and accurate reporting for stakeholders, regulators and municipalities.
Access to an asbestos management plan
Asbestos management plans must be available all workers performing tasks in the building, and all health and safety personnel in the workplace. They help licensed asbestos evaluators and hygiene personnel carry out accurate asbestos surveys and develop further asbestos management plans to maintain a safe working environment.
If you are concerned that your building has lead paints, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), ozone-depleting substances (ODS), or other harmful substances such as mould, carry out a full hazardous materials survey so these risks are evaluated at the same time as your asbestos survey. This allows you to safely manage the risks associated with the presence and interference of these substances during routine removal or maintenance work.
These other substances don’t just present risks in their own right; knowing about them is also important for managing the risk of asbestos.