What is an asbestos register and why do you need one?

Every property in Australia that was built before the asbestos ban in December 2003, must be inspected and recorded in an asbestos register.




While asbestos has long been banned in Australia, it’s still present in most of the old properties that were built during the glory days of the material.

That’s why every property in Australia that was built before the asbestos ban in December 2003, must be inspected and recorded in an asbestos register.


So, what is an asbestos register?

An asbestos register is a document that records and outlines all the confirmed and the assumed asbestos-containing materials in a commercial building or property.

This piece of document is produced after intensive asbestos surveying and testing in the area.

The Work Health and Safety Regulation required this document for all owners or workplace managers of commercial properties that were built before 2004.

That’s why if you own or manage such type of building, you are required by law to produce an asbestos register, especially if the building hasn’t been inspected for asbestos yet.


What information must be included in an asbestos register?

Once the survey and tests for asbestos-containing materials are finished, inspectors will include the following details in your asbestos register:

  • ● Exact places where the ACMs were found
    ● Maps, outlines, and photos of the materials and their locations
    ● The type of asbestos
    ● Friability
    ● Condition of the ACMs and their risk of deteriorating in the future
    ● Furniture and appliances that contain asbestos
    ● Dates when the ACMs were identified

It’s also detailed in the asbestos register when you should update the document. Ideally, it must be reviewed at least every five years. This is to check which ACMs deteriorated already and update the document.

In case of ownership or management change in the building, the asbestos register must be transferred to the new higher-ups as well.


Why do you need to produce an asbestos register?

The purpose of this document is to help the owners and tenants of the building to manage the risk of asbestos exposure. That’s why everyone, including the owner and all the tenants, must have a copy of the register.

It must also be placed in a place where it’s easily accessible and can be seen by people.

This way, the owners, the management, and the tenants can take proper steps on how they can prevent the disturbance of asbestos and minimise their risk of exposure.

Another reason why asbestos registers are important is that it’s a reference for contractors in case the building will undergo demolition or renovations.

Before doing these projects, the document must be thoroughly reviewed first.

If it’s a demolition project, asbestos professionals must be hired to extract all the ACMs. And the asbestos register will be their guide.

If it’s a renovation project, contractors can determine which areas they should be careful of, so they won’t disturb the asbestos present in that area.


You are required by law to provide an asbestos register if…

● You are the owner or the manager of a commercial workspace that was built before 2004
● You plan to demolish or renovate the building that you own or manage
● You are the contractor that will execute the demolition or refurbishment projects
● You are the project manager that will monitor the said plans
● Anyone who fails to produce an asbestos register will be fined up to $30K per building or asset.
● The fines and consequences of not complying will also depend on which state the properties are located in.


How much does an asbestos register cost?

The cost of an asbestos register can depend on a lot of factors since asbestos surveying and testing are also needed.
The size of the building, the tools needed, and other factors can impact the price. The location of the building is a big factor as well.

For example, asbestos register Melbourne and Victoria may be priced differently from the registers in Sydney or any other part of Australia.

If your building hasn’t been surveyed at all, that could take more time and effort since every inch of the property has to be covered. And that also entails a lot of money.





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