Update December 2018 – WorkSafe Victoria Compliance Code: Managing Asbestos in Workplaces, Oct 2018

WorkSafe Victoria has recently updated and released a new version of the Compliance Code: Managing Asbestos in Workplaces, October 2018. The update supersedes the previous (September 2008) version. The updated code supports and provides guidance on achieving compliance with the asbestos provisions of the recently updated Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.

What has changed?

The key changes made to the new compliance code include:

  • Guidance on how to safely manage asbestos in workplaces as well as during demolition, refurbishment work and asbestos-related activities;
  • Information on how to create and maintain an asbestos register, and the requirements associated with the person/company engaged to identify asbestos within a workplace;
  • Explanation of the duty to control exposure to airborne asbestos fibres and the method used to conduct airborne asbestos fibre exposure monitoring;
  • Changes to the state of knowledge as well as advancements in ways to control the risks associated with managing asbestos in the workplace;
  • Further guidance on a number of matters which includes, but is not limited to:
    • Determining who has management or control of a workplace;
    • Factors to consider in the context of determining exposure to asbestos when using certain tools;
    • Duties that apply in relation to domestic premises;
    • When Safe Work Method Statements are required;
    • The prohibition of the manufacture of asbestos-containing material (ACM);
    • Duties of suppliers and risks associated with imported plant and substances;
    • Examples of asbestos-containing dust and ACM that are not fixed or installed;
    • Reasonable grounds for assuming asbestos to be present in soil;
    • Labelling asbestos;
    • Asbestos management plans;
    • Determining duties of employers or self-employed persons performing minor or routine maintenance work or work of a minor nature;
    • Who can perform asbestos removal work; and
    • Duty to inform job applicants of asbestos-related activities.

Is the Updated Code relevant to my Business?

This information is particularly relevant if you have management or control of a workplace, or plant in a workplace, where asbestos is present, or you are an employer at a workplace where asbestos is present. It is also relevant for employers engaged in asbestos-related activities, and employers or self-employed persons performing demolition or refurbishment at a workplace where asbestos is present.  Additionally, it may be useful for employees and health and safety representatives.

If asbestos has been identified or there are reasonable grounds to assume asbestos is present at your workplace, there are specific duties and obligations you may need to comply with under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and OHS Regulations 2017

The compliance code gives you practical guidance on how to comply with those duties and obligations.Should you have concerns about asbestos in your workplace, Prensa can give immediate advice over the phone, and assist in providing the full range of asbestos management services in the workplace.

For further information, please do not hesitate to call the relevant state Prensa office.

The link below will take you to the WorkSafe Victoria website, where you can download a copy of the code.

Compliance Code: