HRS and staff are all fully licensed and insured
to remove all types of asbestos, whether you
have a small shed or a industrial factory
Where can I find asbestos
Cement water tank
Toilet seat cistern
Vinyl floors tiles
Vinyl floor (Paper backing)
Gutters and down pipes
Cement sheeting (fibro)
What is Asbestos
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and can be typically found in rock, sediment or soil.
Different types of Asbestos
(a) Actinolite Asbestos
(b) Grunerite (amosite) Asbestos (brown)
(c) Anthophyllite Asbestos
(d) Chrysotile Asbestos (white)
(e) Crocidolite Asbestos (blue)
(f) Tremolite Asbestos
Asbestos has been used for more than 100 years and in the Australia alone over 1 million commercial, industrial and public buildings contain asbestos material. In Australia between the 1950’s and the mid 1980’s asbestos was used in a wide variety of products such as thermal insulation, fire proofing, electrical insulation and building materials. Even up until 1999 some asbestos products were still being used. Similar cement sheeting products are used today, but are 'asbestos free' In the 1960's and 70's loose fibre asbestos was used in some parts of NSW as home roof insulation.
During the above period, especially between the 1960s and 1970s, any residential, commercial or industrial building that was either built or extensively renovated would more than likely contain asbestos in some form or another. Some Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) may contain more than one type of asbestos in it (i.e. Amosite & Chrysotile).
Removal works are broken down into two different categories
Non-Friable refers to the material containing asbestos that is not friable, including the material containing asbestos fibers reinforced with a bonding compound. These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of asbestos fiber into the airborne environment if they are left undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health.
‘Friable’ is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials that can be reduced to powder by hand, when dry. These materials are more likely to release measurable levels of asbestos into the airborne environment when disturbed, and generally, pose a greater risk meaning that it is advisable to get an expert in as soon as possible.
Health Risks associated with Asbestos
Breathing in asbestos fibres can cause serious illness. The risk of contracting an asbestos related disease increases with the number of fibres inhaled and the risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibres is also greater if you smoke. People who get health problems from inhaling asbestos have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos According to findings by the Australian government asbestos is responsible for over 18,000 deaths each year.
The reason for this is because it causes four main diseases:
• Mesothelioma (which is fatal),
• Lung cancer (almost always fatal)
• Asbestosis (not always fatal but can be debilitating)
• Diffuse pleural thickening (which is not fatal).
Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) in the world due to the country’s past heavy use of asbestos. Despite having adopted a total ban on the importation and use of all forms of asbestos since 31 December 2003, Australia continues to deal with a substantial asbestos legacy. It is estimated that Australia will reach 18,000 cases of mesothelioma by 2020, with another 30,000 to 40,000 cases other asbestos-related diseases predicted. These have predominantly been cases associated with occupational asbestos exposure, comprising of the first wave of asbestos miners and manufacturers and the second wave of tradespeople using asbestos products. While occupational cases are expected to decline due to the ban on asbestos mining and use, the number of non-occupational cases is predicted to rise, constituting a third-wave of asbestos sufferers. This third-wave is largely associated with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) renovators undertaking repairs and improvements on homes without realising that they may be exposing themselves to asbestos in the process. It is estimated that the third-wave currently represents one in every three new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in Australia. This highlights that more must be done to raise awareness and educate Australian homeowners and DIY renovators about the likely presence of asbestos in the residential sector. It is evident that current and future risks of asbestos exposure arise from:
• DIY renovations being undertaken by homeowners themselves, rather than paid professionals
• Deterioration of in situ asbestos caused by weathering
• Damage to asbestos structures due to storms, floods and fires
• Illegally dumped asbestos • Soil contamination from former asbestos waste sites
• Unsafe asbestos removal practices.
Asbestos Removal Requirements
When asbestos is to be removed, the licensed asbestos removalist must give written notice to the WHS Regulator at least five days before commencing the removal work, or immediately by telephone if an event requires urgent removal. Approximately 70,000 removal work notifications were provided to WHS regulators across Australia during 2015– 16, with the highest numbers in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Asbestos supervisors must be present for Class A removal work or be readily available (that is, contactable by phone and within 20 minutes of the worksite) for Class B work.
In the ACT an asbestos supervisor must be present during Class A and Class B removal work. An independent licensed asbestos assessor must be engaged to undertake air monitoring (using the membrane filter method) during Class A removal work. When the asbestos removal is completed, a clearance inspection must be carried out by an independent competent person, or in the case of Class A removal work, a licensed asbestos assessor.
The competent person or licensed asbestos assessor must issue a clearance certificate if they are satisfied that: 1. the asbestos removal area, and the area immediately surrounding it, are free from visible asbestos contamination 2. if air monitoring was undertaken as part of the clearance inspection, the monitoring shows asbestos levels below 0.01 fibres/ml.
The model WHS Regulations impose maximum penalties of $6000 for individuals ($30,000 for corporations) for a failure to comply with the clearance inspection and certificate requirements. Each jurisdiction has regulatory responsibility for monitoring compliance and enforcing the exposure limits under their WHS laws. This includes carrying out regular and targeted compliance audits of the asbestos removal industry to ensure asbestos requirements are being followed. When necessary, statutory intervention is used to improve work practices involving asbestos. In addition to issuing improvement, prohibition and infringement notices, the regulators can initiate prosecutions against businesses that fail to meet their legislative duties. Asbestos removal licences can also be suspended or cancelled.