Your employer has a legal duty to keep you safe at work as far as is reasonably practicable. This includes eliminating or reducing the risk to any employee (or visitor) of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.
If any part of your work area has asbestos which could be disturbed your employer needs to:
- conduct a risk assessment
- implement controls to eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure such as providing you with the necessary information, instruction and training you need to perform your work without risking your health
- consult you and any other employees on health and safety issues (this could be through your Health and Safety Representative) including asbestos, where it directly affects you
- make the asbestos register readily accessible
- advise you when any asbestos removal work is being conducted.
Just as your employer has responsibilities to you in regards to keeping you safe while at work, you too have a responsibility to:
- take reasonable care for your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by your work
- co-operate with your employer's efforts to make the workplace safe.
This may include:
- following workplace policies and procedures
- using equipment correctly, including PPE
- attending health and safety training
- helping to identify hazards and implementing risk control measures.
If you have a job that includes working with asbestos products (such as an asbestos removalist) legislation includes additional duties your employer must undertake to ensure you stay safe. You must wear the appropriate PPE at all times during asbestos removal and clean-up and follow all safety control measures.
If you are concerned about an asbestos issue in your workplace, you should talk to your employer or Health and Safety Representative.