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Changes to Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos Regulations) 2016.

Published March 12, 2018 (last updated November 12, 2020) -

As of  4 April 2018, the transitional period for changes to asbestos regulations will end. This means you need to ensure your company is fully compliant with the new rules and regulations. In particular, under the changes:

1. the Company will be responsible for holding a license or Certificate of Competence to remove asbestos; previously it was the responsibility of the individual employee

2. there are two classes of licenses which outline the level of asbestos-containing material a company can work with:

Asbestos removal license – Class A.

Covers both friable and non-friable asbestos. Company’s with this licence would need to ensure their safety management systems have been updated to a higher standard

Asbestos removal license – Class B.

Allows the company to remove only non-friable material.


Friable: is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials that can be easily reduced to powder by hand, when dry.
These materials are more likely to release measurable levels of asbestos into the airborne environment when disturbed, and generally pose a greater risk to health.

Non-friable: or bonded asbestos is used to refer to asbestos-containing materials in which the asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material.
These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of asbestos fibre into the airborne environment if they are left undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health.

What do employers do now?

It is imperative that your nominated supervisor completes the current training before the end of the transitional period, even though current Certificate holders can continue to operate until April 4.

You also have a duty to prepare and review your current asbestos management plan as well as a duty to train staff in removing the hazardous substance while keeping a training record.

For advice on changes and maintaining compliance post 4 April 2018, contact Employsure on 0800 675 700.

About Employsure.

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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