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Asbestos Regulations in New Zealand: A Comprehensive Guide

Asbestos is a hazardous material known for its detrimental health effects and poses significant risks to individuals and communities. In New Zealand, strict regulations and guidelines have been implemented to protect the public from asbestos exposure. Asbestos Removals Marlborough provides an overview of the asbestos regulations in New Zealand, discusses the responsibilities of homeowners, employers, and professionals, and highlights the available government agencies and resources for asbestos-related inquiries.

Understanding New Zealand's Asbestos Regulations

With all asbestos, it’s always safest to seek advice from a professional. The rules and regulations can seem a little overwhelming, and with the stakes being very high in terms of your health, it’s paramount that if you think you have an asbestos situation, gain professional advice from a trained asbestos removal company.

The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 are designed to ensure the safety of those removing and dealing with all asbestos.

The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 is a set of regulations specific to asbestos management and control in New Zealand workplaces. These regulations outline the legal requirements and obligations to ensure the safe handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. Some of the critical points of the rules include:

Duty to Manage Asbestos: The regulations place a responsibility on Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (known as PCBUs) to identify and assess asbestos risks in the workplace or home and implement measures to manage and control those risks.

Asbestos Management Plans: PCBUs must develop and implement asbestos management plans for workplaces or homes where asbestos is present or likely to be present. These plans include details of asbestos assessments, control measures, training, and emergency procedures.

Licensed Asbestos Removal: A licensed asbestos removalist must carry out any removal of friable asbestos (asbestos, which can be crumbled or reduced to a powder). Non-friable asbestos removal may be conducted by trained personnel without a license, but specific requirements must be met. Asbestos Removals Marlborough advises that all asbestos is only removed by a trained professional to keep you and your family safe.

Training and Supervision: PCBUs must ensure that workers exposed to asbestos receive appropriate training and information about asbestos risks, safe work practices, and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Adequate supervision of workers involved in asbestos-related activities is also required.

Notification and Record-Keeping: PCBUs must notify WorkSafe New Zealand at least five days before commencing licensed asbestos removal work. They must also keep records of asbestos-related activities, including assessments, plans, training, and incidents.

It is also vital for PCBUs, employers, and individuals involved in asbestos-related activities to familiarise themselves with both the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to ensure compliance and promote the safe removal of asbestos. In turn, protecting the health of workers and the general public.

What Are The Responsibilities Of Homeowners When It Comes To Asbestos?

Homeowners in New Zealand have important responsibilities when managing asbestos or possible asbestos in their residential properties. Understanding and fulfilling these responsibilities is paramount for ensuring the safety of this highly toxic fibre.

Homeowners should proactively identify any potential asbestos-containing materials in their residential properties and contact a licensed asbestos assessor to determine the level of asbestos. Common asbestos in homes built or renovated in New Zealand before the year 2000 may contain asbestos in insulation, cement sheeting, vinyl floor tiles, textured ceiling and wall coatings (popcorn ceilings), pipe insulation, and even electrical boards.

Asbestos Removals Marlborough suggests calling in the experts for any asbestos. Licensed professionals have the expertise and equipment to assess the presence and condition of asbestos in the property and keep you and your family safe. Their assessment reports provide valuable information for managing asbestos risks and planning appropriate control or removal methods.

It is also vital for others working on your home. If you suspect asbestos is present, homeowners should inform other contractors and trades that there could be asbestos. This is true for all your property renovations, repairs, and even maintenance. It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is imperative that you create a secure workspace around your home to keep yourself and others safe from possible harm and disease.

Homeowners are also encouraged to regularly monitor the condition of any asbestos in their homes and undertake necessary maintenance to prevent deterioration or damage of this toxic fibre.

How To Deal With Asbestos In The Home?

When dealing with asbestos, it is essential to prioritise safety, seek professional advice, and comply with applicable regulations. Contaminating and disturbing asbestos cannot only increase your health risk, but it can also cause a severe budget blowout. Contamination can cause homeowners to vacate the home until the asbestos is cleared; this can even affect neighbours and tradespeople working on your property. With the risks being so high, it is recommended that any renovation have an asbestos check before proceeding – particularly with older homes or those renovated before 2000.

Sadly, many are caught out by the sudden discovery of asbestos in their homes or businesses. By understanding the responsibilities of homeowners, employers, and professionals, you can effectively manage asbestos risks and create a safer environment. Government agencies and resources are also available for guidance and support in asbestos-related matters. Remember, prioritising safety and adhering to regulations is crucial when dealing with asbestos in New Zealand. Stay informed, seek professional advice, and contribute to a healthier, asbestos-free New Zealand.

Need advice on asbestos? We are here to help.

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