Are you running a business with workers who remove asbestos or asbestos containing material (ACM)? This year regulations are changing for asbestos-related work.
Asbestos regulations are being updated to bring New Zealand into line with other countries. With more than 170 New Zealand workers dying each year from asbestos-related diseases, our work practices need to improve.
Under the new regulations, coming in on April 4th, a licence is required to remove more than 10m2 of non-friable (bonded) asbestos or ACM in one job, or any amount of friable asbestos. The licence will be issued by government health and safety agency WorkSafe New Zealand.
The new licensing system for asbestos removal is aimed at ensuring people removing asbestos have the necessary skills and experience to keep themselves, and others, safe.
If your business is likely to require an asbestos removal licence it’s a good idea to register your interest with WorkSafe.
You can register online, and find more information on changes to work involving asbestos, at http://business.govt.nz/worksafe/asbestos
If you have a current Certificate of Competence, you don’t need to do anything yet. Your certificate will allow you to work under the new asbestos regulations (under the categories listed on your certificate), until your certificate expires. At that point you will need to apply for one of the new licences or to work on another business’s licence.
Note: All removal work needs to be performed safely. Suitable controls need to be in place to ensure that the risks of asbestos have been minimised. These include correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), safe methods of work, decontamination facilities and the disposal of all asbestos waste in an approved landfill.