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Posted By Topic: Asbestos Fibro Eaves

Boatie80
Apr 06 2018 07:07

Hi guys, hope everyone's good on a Friday! I went to have a look at a job for a spa pool and it involves getting a cable from the house and across a trench. It's a brick building and I can either try and get the cable down the wall cavity or run capping internally and then out, and just have a cobra clamp and start the conduit outside low-level, or go with what the customer was actually expecting anyway, and run a conduit straight down the wall from eave to trench. This would be the easier option, but it's an 80's house with a fibro eave so likely asbestos. You always get told how bad this stuff is, and I'd need to make a 25mm hole. How do you guys deal with situations like this?
   

mralarms
Apr 06 2018 10:46

Follow best practice
http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/publications/safe-work-procedures.htm
   

Andrew
Apr 06 2018 11:28

First port of call is probably to check with the council to find out where you can dispose of the asbestos waste and how much it will cost. If your customer is happy to pay, then follow the guidelines.
   

gofishing
Apr 06 2018 21:04

I would simply use a 25mm holesaw to make the necessary hole and get the job done without any fuss.
The hysterics surrounding "suspected" asbestos products are unbelievable...
   

SaintAlan
Apr 06 2018 21:08

That is an interesting link, and their shaving foam trick is a good idea.
If I have to drill or cut fibrolite-type boards, even the new type, I wet it and use a water spray so the waste is sludge rather than dust. But surrounding the work in foam would catch it all, even on vertical surfaces.
Of course in the 'good old days' no-one cared, and we used handfuls of the fibrous stuff for fireproofing!
   

BrianW
Apr 07 2018 23:22

Gofishing has the correct answer. Wet it before you drill/cut etc, so theres no dry dust to deal with, and you havent got a problem, and for a 25mm hole, Worksafe wont give a monkeys.

If you were removing the entire eave then its a different story.
   

Andrew
Apr 11 2018 09:49

It's true that wetting before you work with it means you won't have an issue, and it's also true that if you don't follow the asbestos regulations you're unlikely to be prosecuted in this case. However, failing to dispose of the waste puts the client at risk (although if the worst happens they're unlikely to realise their mesothelioma is your fault), and disposing of it improperly puts a number of others at risk (with the risk being lower the better you've contained the waste).

Best approach is to either get it tested or treat it as though it contains asbestos and follow the requirements for both your own health and the health of others down the line.
   

ryanm10
Apr 11 2018 20:14

Asbestos ridden dirt got used here in Chch on a public walkway. The medical officer of health said it aint a problem in small doses.........

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/100836644/christchurch-city-council-lays-path-with-asbestosridden-soil
   

daniel2
Apr 11 2018 20:37

Looking back to 22 Feb, 2011, I was working on the hill behind Ferrymead and like most Cantabrians witnessed the big dust cloud that formed over the Christchurch city centre after the earthquake hit. I wonder how much of that cloud, and many other buildings that collapsed or partly fell, was asbestos.

I assume most people would have been exposed to a lot of air-borne asbestos dust that day.
   

Satobsat
Apr 12 2018 14:11

After attending a recent Site Safe Worker Health course I was somewhat a bit miffed about the fact that they did not want to talk about asbestos choosing to instead focus on the dangers of silicosis. After doing a bit of research it is obvious why.

I would be more worried about the dust from drilling the masonry when you saddle your conduit to the wall, particularly if you like to blow the dust out of the hole you just drilled before you put the rawl plug in.
   

Andrew
Apr 16 2018 10:59

Worksafe have an updated guide for asbestos now...
https://worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/asbestos/working-with-asbestos/asbestos-quick-guides-for-tradespeople/
   

DougP
Apr 16 2018 11:05

I asked a linesman what they had to do if they needed to drill an attachment into a soffit.

He just shrugged his shoulders...
   

AlecK
Apr 16 2018 12:04

"It hasn't killed me yet" is not a good enough reason to put this in the "too hard" basket.

There are ways of dealing with ACM, including "black panels" & sheet-cement products; and they are not too hard to implement.

On the other hand, the Regulations are way too fierce when it comes to actual asbestos, as found in some flexes, fuses, water heaters and switchboard linings. No provision for removing small quantities using 'accepted procedures'. No matter how small it's straight to "sorry Mrs Jones, i can't fix your water-heater 89or whatever) until I've given 5? days' notice to Worksafe, plus contracted a specialist remover, and a specialist air monitoring person."

That may be what's needed for removing the stuff in bulk, but surely we should be able to get some approved procedures for these common small amounts.
   

Satobsat
Apr 17 2018 23:09

From the new asbestos regulations. Would electrical work on buildings containing ACM constitute refurbishment if you were to drill a hole in a board or soffite? What about merely moving through a roof space and disturbing old insulation? Are we not carrying out part refurbishment in work we do on existing installations?

"7 Prohibition on carrying out, directing, or allowing work involving asbestos or ACM
(1)
A PCBU must not carry out, or direct or allow a worker to carry out, work involving asbestos.
(2)
Subclause (1) does not apply if the work involving asbestos is any of the following:

(h)
maintenance and servicing work involving ACM in accordance with these regulations:

(5)
For the purposes of this regulation, work involves asbestos if the work involves manufacturing, supplying, transporting, storing, removing, using, installing, handling, treating, disposing of, or disturbing asbestos or ACM."

"18 Duty to limit use of equipment on asbestos or ACM

(3)
A PCBU must not use, or direct or allow a worker to use, any of the following equipment on asbestos or ACM unless the use of the equipment is controlled:
(a)
a power tool:
(b)
a broom:
(c)
any other implement that causes the release of airborne asbestos into the atmosphere.
(4)
For the purposes of subclause (3), the use of equipment is controlled if—
(a)
the equipment is enclosed while being used; or
(b)
the equipment is designed to capture or suppress airborne asbestos and is used in accordance with its design; or
(c)
the equipment is used in a way that is designed to capture or suppress airborne asbestos safely; or
(d)
any combination of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) applies.
(5)
A PCBU who contravenes subclause (1) or (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a)
for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $6,000:
(b)
for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $30,000.
Compare: Model Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Aust) r 446"

"20 Determining presence of asbestos or ACM
(1)
This regulation applies if demolition or refurbishment of a structure or plant is to be carried out at a workplace.
(2)
The PCBU who intends to carry out the demolition or refurbishment must not carry out the demolition or refurbishment until the structure or plant has been inspected to determine whether asbestos or ACM is fixed to or installed in the structure or plant.
(3)
The PCBU who intends to carry out the demolition or refurbishment must ensure that the determination is undertaken by a competent person.
(4)
The PCBU who is to carry out the demolition or refurbishment must assume that asbestos or ACM is fixed to or installed in the structure or plant if—
(a)
the competent person is, on reasonable grounds, uncertain whether asbestos is fixed to or installed in the structure or plant; or
(b)
part of the structure or plant is inaccessible and likely to be disturbed.
(5)
If asbestos or ACM is determined or assumed to be fixed to or installed in the structure or plant, the PCBU who intends to carry out the demolition or refurbishment must inform,—
(a)
if the workplace is a home,—
(i)
the occupier of the home; and
(ii)
the owner of the home; and
(b)
in any other case, the PCBU with management or control of the workplace.
(6)
A PCBU who contravenes subclause (2) or (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a)
for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $10,000:
(b)
for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $50,000.
(7)
A PCBU who contravenes subclause (5) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a)
for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $6,000:
(b)
for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $30,000.
Compare: Model Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Aust) r 451"

"26 Duty to identify and remove asbestos before refurbishment of home
(1)
A PCBU who is to carry out refurbishment of a home must ensure—
(a)
that all asbestos that is likely to be disturbed by the refurbishment is identified; and
(b)
so far as is reasonably practicable, that the asbestos is removed before the refurbishment is commenced.
(2)
A PCBU who contravenes subclause (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
(a)
for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $10,000:
(b)
for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $50,000.
Compare: Model Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (Aust) r 457"
http://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0015/latest/whole.html#DLM6729713
   

AlecK
Apr 18 2018 08:48

normal electrical work by itself would probably not be refurbishment; but could be part of a refurbishment.

But basically the same rules apply regardless of whether or not it's refurbishment.
Must train staff & monitor their health; must have asbestos management plan in place; must identify & indicate; must NOT remove actual asbestos unless licensed(but can remove small amounts of ACM using procedures); must notify removal; must dispose of correctly.

So we can drill into, or remove, black panels or soffits; but we're banned from removing even tiny amounts of millboard, flex, fuses.
The only way through I can see is to pretend that eg a fuse / flex / waterheater with an asbestos is 'ACM'. But I can't see that being valid for millboard lining of a switchboard cavity.

BTW, the duty to "indicate" probably requires more than just telling the homeowner. Minimum would be to put it in writing (so you can prove you did); and that's probably enough for a soffit. But for electrical items better to apply a label so the next person gets the message straight away & directly.

12 Duty to ensure presence and location of asbestos indicated
(1) A PCBU with management or control of a workplace must ensure that the presence
and location of asbestos or ACM identified at the workplace under regulation 10 are clearly indicated (and in a way that complies with the requirements of any applicable safe work instrument).