News & Insights

Insights from the First Asbestos & Hazardous Materials Consultants Association Meeting

Insights from the First Asbestos & Hazardous Materials Consultants Association Meeting

18 July 2019

On the 16th of July 2019, representatives from Greencap attended the first Asbestos & Hazardous Materials Consultants Association (AHCA) meeting in Sydney.

The Association has been formed to “represent and support Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Professionals, providing opportunity for Consultants, Industry, Industry Associations, Charities, Community members and Regulators to come together to interact and share information and knowledge.

At the meeting, Jason Wall (Assistant State Inspector, SafeWork NSW) gave an informative presentation that made clear what SafeWork NSW is likely to expect in the future around asbestos in soil and he provided some guidance.  Key takeaways are summarised below:


Key Takeaways:

  1. SafeWork will require a hygienist’s report characterising the asbestos in the soil to be attached to removal notifications
  2. The report attached to the notification will need a determination of asbestos friability
  3. A desktop review conducted prior to the notification will be required to determine the potential for friable asbestos
  4. SafeWork will require a LAA to provide hygiene services, however, in relation to soil, SafeWork want an understanding of the hygienist’s competencies for assessing soil, e.g. list of qualifications, science or related degree, internal training received, external training received, other relevant competencies and experience
  5. SafeWork consider soil sampling, instead of just collecting discrete material fragments, only if the site history suggests that soil sampling is necessary
  6. Not only past, but future use of the site should play a part in the risk assessment (WorkSafe would prefer soils were not relocated from a risk management standpoint)
  7. Consultants should be familiar with NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 Clause 419 (1) and its negators: Clause 419 (4) and Clause 419 (5) – these regulations are reproduced below:


Clause 419 Work involving asbestos or ACM — Prohibitions and Exceptions

  • (1) A person conducting a business or undertaking must not carry out, or direct or allow a worker to carry out, work involving asbestos.
  • (4) Subclause (1) does not apply if the regulator approves the method adopted for managing risk associated with asbestos.
  • (5) Subclause (1) does not apply to the following:
    • (a) soil that a competent person has determined:
      • (i) does not contain any visible ACM or friable asbestos, or
      • (ii) if friable asbestos is visible—does not contain more than trace levels of asbestos determined in accordance with AS 4964:2004 (Method for the qualitative identification of asbestos in bulk samples),
    • (b) naturally occurring asbestos managed in accordance with an asbestos management plan prepared under clause 432.


To speak with an expert on asbestos, hazardous materials and soil contamination, contact your nearest Greencap office.


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