Workplaces asbestos safety

For workplaces/tradespeople

If you’re doing renovations, repairs or building work, it’s important to first know whether asbestos may be present and how to deal with it safely.

  • For houses (including garages, sheds and outbuildings): you should make sure any asbestos is identified and if possible, have it removed by a licensed asbestos removalist. See the ‘Removing asbestos’ tab below for more information.
  • For a non-residential building: ask the person with management or control for a copy of the asbestos register before you start work. If there’s no register, make sure the building is inspected to determine if any asbestos is present — or simply assume it is present. See the ‘Removing asbestos’ tab below for more information.

Read the codes

For full guidance, see these codes of practice:

These contain easy to understand, practical guidance (including samples and templates) for managing the risks associated with asbestos in a workplace, and therefore reducing the incidence of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

The dangers of asbestos

Even limited or short-term exposure to asbestos fibres can be dangerous.

Disturbing any amount of asbestos can release fibres into the air. These could be inhaled or swallowed, which may lead to diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma in later years.

With many Australian homes containing asbestos, if you work on domestic properties you’re likely to come across asbestos every day of your working life.

Getting an asbestos survey

If you’re unsure whether the home you're working on contains asbestos, an asbestos survey will help you learn its location and condition, and give guidance on how to manage the risk.

It’s important that a survey be conducted before you start work to avoid disturbing any asbestos containing material.

It’s recommended that you engage an experienced asbestos assessor to conduct an asbestos survey to identify any potential asbestos materials.

For detail on getting a survey done, see the information sheet in our Resources tab below.

Find an experienced asbestos assessor in Tasmania

Removing asbestos

If asbestos is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, it can be left in place and monitored over time.

However, if asbestos is in poor condition or is likely to be damaged or disturbed during renovations, it should be removed.

Removal requirements depend on the type and amount of asbestos containing material present.

Find a licensed asbestos removalist in Tasmania

Search for a disposal facility

National Asbestos Exposure Register

The Australian Government has a register to record the details of people who think they may have been exposed to asbestos.

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos either during the course of your employment, at home or in the community, you can submit your details on the register.

Tasmania's compensation scheme

Find out more about the asbestos compensation scheme operating in Tasmania.

The scheme aims to provide fair and appropriate compensation and pay certain expenses to workers with asbestos-related diseases, and family members of deceased workers.

National protocol for importing asbestos material

WorkSafe Tasmania has endorsed the Rapid Response Protocol developed by the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities Imported Materials with Asbestos Working Group.

The objectives of the protocol are to:

  • provide a consistent approach to the risk assessment and treatment of asbestos containing materials identified within Australia
  • ensure secure handling of information in line with relevant legislation
  • reflect the expectations of the government and community
  • provide a clear guide for the allocation of resources in response to allegations made in the form of referrals to any of the members of the Working Group allow for the sharing of information amongst members of the Working Group

You can find the protocol and more information about managing the importation of asbestos into Australia, including responsibilities of PCBUs and how this is regulated by government agencies, at the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency website.