Potential Places to find Asbestos in your home or factory

Images taken directly from the Worksafe "Management & Removal of Asbestos" November 2016.

When was the building built?

Asbestos was widely used as construction and insulation material in buildings until the mid -1980s. It was still used until stockpiles of the product ran out. Asbestos was possibly used in buildings constructed before 2000.

Were refurbishments or additions made to the building before 2000?

Any refurbishment or extensions to the original building before 2000 may have building materials containing asbestos.

Even if the original parts of the building did not have asbestos, be aware that later additions may have it.

What was used to build the building?

If cement sheet was installed in the building before 2000, it is likely to contain asbestos. For example, a corrugated cement sheet roof is likely to contain asbestos.

Areas of buildings prone to wet conditions may contain asbestos in the walls and floors, because it is hardy and has good waterproofing qualities. For example, bathrooms, toilets and laundries may have asbestos sheeting or vinyl tiles. Pipes that carry water and sewage may also contain asbestos.

Talk to designers, manufacturers or suppliers of plant, or refer to design plans

Asbestos may be present in specific parts of workplace plant because it was used in gasket and friction brake products. Despite a large decrease in its use, white asbestos was still used in specific plant, including rotary van vacuum pumps, and gaskets for certain equipment.

If plant was designed, built and installed before 2000, consult the plant supplier, manufacturer or designer to find out if asbestos is present. Preferably get this advice in writing. If this is not possible, review the design plans and seek advice from an experienced engineer or plant designer. Quality assurance systems or checks should confirm if asbestos in present.

Talk to experienced workers

Talking to experienced workers may help because they may know about the plant or building’s history, including age, construction, renovation or repairs, or where asbestos may be found.

Visually inspect the workplace to identify asbestos, ACM and inaccessible areas

The person identifying the asbestos should conduct a thorough visual inspection of all areas of the workplace, including all buildings, ceiling spaces, cellars, shafts, storage areas and wall cavities.

Otherwise assume asbestos is present.

The building or plant’s design plans may help identify inaccessible areas. Talk to builders, architects, plant manufacturers and maintenance workers. Knowledge of the materials used in the building or plant’s construction, or experience and findings from inspecting similar sections of the building or plant (or similar ones) may also help.

Take notes and photographs

Taking notes and photographs while conducting the inspection will help with producing asbestos records.

Previous records

Previous asbestos records, including from asbestos removal jobs (such as clearance certificates), can help with identifying all asbestos and ACM in the workplace .

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