Your Asbestos Responsibility – Running a Business or Orgnisation

While asbestos mining and its usage in Australian building materials ceased in late 2003, the remains of its historical use still affects our country today. According to the NSW government, over 4000 Australian’s die each year to Asbestos related illnesses, making its removal from commercial and residential properties a priority. Australian business owners, managers and directors already have quite a few WH&S responsibilities and protecting their employees from asbestos exposure is one of them. As a Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU) on a commercial property or, a recently acquired commercial land, you have an obligation to identify and safely manage any discovered asbestos deposits. But how do we handle asbestos removal and what are Australian PCBU’s specific responsibilities?


HTS is here to help, we have been removing asbestos and remediating sites for over two decades. Here are some of the key responsibilities PCBU’s must ensure their workers are protected from asbestos exposure.


Contractor Safety and Asbestos Registers

Tradespeople often run the risk of accidentally physically disturbing hidden asbestos in older buildings. Before allowing contractors onto your commercial property, you must identify all hazardous materials contained in its structure and the land it occupies.  An asbestos register should be made available to all contractors working on your site, and should form part of the site induction.

The register must be updated if asbestos or ACM becomes damaged, disturbed, or removed. Any person planning to carry out works to the business must be given a copy of the asbestos register, as must any health and safety representatives. The register should be readily accessible and reviewed every 5 years or at the request of a health and safety representative if they believe circumstances have changed or the management plan is no longer adequate. The register must be passed on to the next manager or owner in case of a change of management.

Asbestos registers are not required for buildings constructed after December 2003. If you require an Asbestos Register, we can connect you with a trusted Occupational Hygienist and support the ongoing safe management according to the Hygienist’s Asbestos Management Plan.


Safety for Staff

As a business manager or director, your responsibilities extend to employees and any clients or guests to the site as well.  If any asbestos becomes damaged, it is your responsibility to remove people from the area and contact a licensed removalist to arrange a make safe and repair or removal.

If asbestos removal on your commercial property is required, you will need a qualified professional, like HTS; never conduct a DIY asbestos removal on your property.

Fines for unlawful and irresponsible disposal of asbestos can be quite steep. The EPA recently fined a company on the Central Coast, NSW, for incorrectly disposing of 13 bags full of asbestos materials and was fined $15,000 (EPA, 2021). DIY asbestos removal on commercial properties is illegal, not worth the risk of your workers safety, or the hefty fine.


Your workers are entitled to the right to work in an asbestos free and safe environment. If you need assistance to provide a safe site, contact us on 1300 600 144 

Find out more about asbestos

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