The type of licensed asbestos removalist you engage depends on the type and quantity of asbestos or asbestos containing material being removed.

Licensed asbestos removalists

Asbestos removalists must be appropriately licensed and comply with all the relevant duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA).

Class A asbestos removal licence holders can remove all asbestos-containing materials including friable asbestos.

Class B asbestos removal licence holders can remove any amount of non-friable asbestos.

Class A or Class B removal licence holders must comply with the following requirements for any work undertaken at workplaces or residential premises:

  • notify SafeWork SA of asbestos removal 5 days prior to commencing work
  • ensure air monitoring is carried out by an independent licensed asbestos assessor immediately before the asbestos removal work commences and while the licensed asbestos removal work is carried out
  • provide employees with information, training, personal protective clothing and equipment, and medical examinations
  • ensure a supervisor oversees the removal work
  • obtain the workplace's asbestos register (for workplaces)
  • prepare an asbestos removal control plan before starting any work
  • provide appropriate information to various parties, such as neighbours or businesses in the immediate vicinity
  • use specific methods for removal, waste containment and waste disposal
  • use signs and barricades
  • provide decontamination facilities
  • ensure an independent competent person, or for class A asbestos removal work a licensed asbestos assessor, undertakes a clearance inspection and issues a clearance certificate when the licensed asbestos removal work is completed
  • ensure all asbestos waste is disposed of safely and legally.

Once the licensed removal work is complete, a clearance inspection and a clearance certificate are required before the workplace can re-open.

See the Code of Practice – How to safely remove asbestos for more detailed information on the duties for licensed asbestos removalists.

The Code of Practice requirements apply to duty holders including the licensed asbestos removalist, the person who commissioned the asbestos removal work and the person with management and control of the workplace.

Contractor, builder or tradie

Removal of asbestos by a contractor, builder or tradie who does not hold a Class A or Class B asbestos removal licence is permitted if the asbestos being removed is:

  • 10m2 or less of non-friable asbestos (approximately the size of a bedroom wall)
  • asbestos containing debris that is not more than a minor contamination and is associated with the removal of 10m2 or less of non-friable asbestos.

Any asbestos removal work undertaken by a contractor, builder or tradie must be in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and ensures appropriate risk management controls are taken to prevent exposure to airborne asbestos or any other hazards.

Workers carrying out asbestos removal work, including self-employed persons, must be trained in the identification and safe handling of asbestos prior to carrying out asbestos removal work without a licence. An asbestos awareness course or the non-friable removal unit of competency would be considered appropriate training.

Asbestos assessors

Asbestos assessors are licensed by SafeWork SA for air monitoring and clearance inspections.

Clearance inspections and certificates

Asbestos assessors are required for clearance inspections for Class A removal work.

An independent competent person (with relevant training) can undertake clearance inspections for Class B removal work.

Clearance certificates should be issued for all licensed asbestos removal work as evidence that reoccupation is safe to occur. Clearance for reoccupation includes both a visual inspection and air monitoring results that are below 0.01 f/mL.

Find a licensed asbestos assessor or removalist

To assist you with finding a licensed asbestos assessor, licensed asbestos removalist or supervisor SafeWork SA publishes the following lists:

SafeWork SA also holds a register of the name of each supervisor as notified to SafeWork SA in relation to an asbestos removal licence.

As the costs can vary significantly it is recommended that you contact a few assessors and removalists to obtain comprehensive quotes for work to be done, giving consideration to the requirements listed above.

Air-monitoring

The person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) who commissions the licensed asbestos removal work at a workplace is responsible for arranging the air monitoring at that workplace. If the workplace is a residential premises, the licensed asbestos removalist carrying out the removal work is responsible for arranging the air monitoring.

An independent licensed asbestos assessor for asbestos removal must conduct air monitoring (for both Class A and Class B licences). The air monitoring assessment must take place immediately before and during licensed asbestos removal work.

In a workplace, the PCBU must distribute the results of the air monitoring to:

  • workers
  • health and safety representatives
  • any other person at the workplace.

Consultation

SafeWork SA is proposing to amend the WHS Regulations by making permanent the following long standing requirement in South Australia:

that an independent licensed asbestos assessor conduct air monitoring for asbestos removal under both Class A and Class B licences.

The requirement for continuous air monitoring during Class A and Class B asbestos removals was a requirement under the repealed Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986.

When the WHS legislation was adopted in South Australia, a commitment was given not to decrease the level of safety provided by the existing OHSW legislation. However, as the model WHS Regulations only make air monitoring mandatory for asbestos removal under a Class A licence, the requirement for air monitoring for removal under a Class B licence was implemented through a transitional regulation in the WHS Regulations (regulation 726). This provision expires on 31 December 2020.

SafeWork SA is proposing to make this amendment to:

  • maintain the long-standing requirement for continuous air monitoring during Class A and Class B asbestos removals in South Australia
  • provide certainty to the asbestos removal industry and the community that this long standing requirement will continue and
  • ensure greater administrative efficiency for SafeWork SA and asbestos removal industry stakeholders.

If you would like to provide your views, please submit them to SWSAPolicy@sa.gov.au by Friday 23 October 2020.