Last year the Victorian government established a new government body called the Victorian Asbestos Eradication Agency (VAEA) which aims to target and prioritise the removal of asbestos within government buildings across Victoria, in order to minimise the risks of asbestos related diseases. This includes buildings owned and managed by hospitals, schools, water authorities, committees of management and catchment management authorities just to name a few. These buildings were commonly constructed or renovated between the 1940s to early 1990s, and could contain Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) in one or several locations throughout the buildings or items of plant. In some cases, older buildings containing ACMs may have been incorrectly demolished previously with new buildings constructed in their place, potentially leading to asbestos contamination within the soil.
The VAEA aims to develop a comprehensive and consolidated asbestos register on all buildings in order to prioritise and remove ACMs within these buildings. This is achieved by the agency obtaining a copy of the asbestos registers and collating them into a large, state-wide asbestos register. Already, several organisations have been contacted by the VAEA to obtain a copy of their asbestos register. The asbestos register needs to be compiled or reviewed every 5 years by a competent person or organisation and include the location, type, condition, whether the ACM is friable or non-friable and likelihood of disturbance of all ACMs located within the buildings.
The Victorian WorkSafe Compliance Code for Managing Asbestos in Workplaces defines the following criteria for determining whether a person is competent in identifying ACMs within workplaces:
HAZCON has over 20 years experience in providing and reviewing asbestos registers for a variety or organisations including hospitals, schools, water authorities, council buildings and catchment management authorities, and have already provided asbestos registers for organisations to comply with the VAEA. HAZCON's consultants can also provide advice and services around the management and control of ACMs including asbestos air monitoring and visual clearances, and also has a NATA accredited laboratory for asbestos identification and asbestos fire counting.