If you own a commercial property, here’s everything you need to know about asbestos register:
Table of contents
But first, what is asbestos?
Asbestos is a popular construction material from 1940 to 1990 because of its heat insulation and fireproofing capabilities. However, in the 1980s, Australia started to phase out the material and completely banned it in 2003 because of the health hazards that it poses.
When disturbed and accidentally inhaled by an individual, the asbestos dust can cause a lot of lung-related complications that can either cause severe damages or worse, death. Some of these diseases are:
Lung cancer – after you’ve inhaled asbestos accidentally, the asbestos dust can get stuck in your lung tissues and turn perfectly healthy cells into cancerous ones, resulting in lung cancer.
Asbestosis – asbestosis is often characterized as the scarring of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. This often results in shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and worse, cardiac failure
Mesothelioma – it’s a type of cancer that occurs only on the linings of your heart, lungs, and abdomen. People who contract this disease are often given 1-2 years of life expectancy after the diagnosis.
Other diseases are pleural plaques and pleural thickening. Most of these diseases often show their symptoms at least 20 years after the inhalation of asbestos dust. By the time the disease was detected, it’s all too late.
Many of the commercial and residential buildings that were built or renovated before the total ban of asbestos are still standing to this day and pose a ton of health risks to everyone, especially when the material is disturbed unknowingly.
That’s why if you own a commercial property that was built before 2004, you must keep a commercial asbestos register in your records. This is to make sure that everyone knows about the asbestos presence in the building.
This is also to make sure that proper guidelines will be put in place to prevent any disturbance of the asbestos material.
What is an asbestos register?
An asbestos register is a record required by the WHS Regulations that details information about asbestos presence in the property. Below are the things that the asbestos register must outline:
- The exact or assumed location of asbestos
- The type of asbestos present in the area
- And what condition is it in
This record must always be available to anyone likely to be exposed to that asbestos. In addition, it must always be updated and passed on to the management if there’s a new one.
When is an asbestos register not required?
An asbestos register is not required to be completed by commercial property owners if:
- The property is a building that was constructed after December 31, 1899.
- No asbestos has been identified at the property before
- And no asbestos-containing material is likely to be present at the property from time to time.