How To Identify Asbestos In The Workplace

Asbestos Identification

Asbestos related health issues are well researched and highly publicised. Used as a common building material throughout Australia during the 1960s and 70s, Asbestos can still be found in many privately owned houses and commercial workplaces today. Being able to correctly identify asbestos in your workplace could have a significant impact on the health and safety of your employees. There are a number of elements to consider when identifying your risk of asbestos exposure:

Consider the age and design of the building

Workplace buildings built between the 1960’s and 1980’s are more likely to contain asbestos material than those built after 1990. This is due to the government regulation that banned the use of asbestos materials in construction on December 31, 1989. If your building was constructed prior to this new legislation, it is important that you seek professional advice in surveying your workplace for asbestos material.

Make a visual assessment

The first stage of asbestos identification is a visual assessment of any suspicious material. Asbestos is a common material used in areas that are likely to experience heat, friction or excessive wetting. Within a workplace building, asbestos is most commonly found in cement sheeting known as 'fibro'. This material is similar to fibreglass in appearance, with thin shard like fibres that can often break up when damaged. Any material identified as fibro asbestos should be tested in a laboratory analysis before being removed.

Sample in a laboratory

Laboratory sampling will ensure that the material is clearly identified as asbestos before attempting to remove it. Testing can be achieved by taking a small representative sample and sending it to a qualified laboratory for analysis. To ensure that no one in the workplace is exposed to asbestos fibres during this sampling process, professional help is recommended.

In order to accurately identify asbestos containing materials in your workplace there are many factors that need to be considered. Acquiring the knowledge and skill to correctly identify this material requires specialist training and many years of experience. Asbestos Removals Australia is a qualified asbestos removal company under the provisions of the asbestos removal A and B licence. They specialise in the identification, removal and disposal of asbestos materials from houses and workplaces around the Brisbane area. If you suspect your workplace may contain asbestos material, contact the experts at Asbestos Removals Australia today, because you can’t put a price on health and safety.