Who can remove asbestos and what are the safety requirements?
Friable (i.e. crumbly) asbestos may only be removed from a building by a person holding a certificate of competence for restricted work. The Department of Labour can provide a list of contractors certified to carry out asbestos removal. The contractor must notify the Department of Labour of the work being carried out.
Stringent procedures must be followed to ensure that workers and others in the area are not exposed to asbestos fibres. Work methods, equipment and safety procedures are detailed in 'New Zealand Guidelines for the Management and Removal of Asbestos'. The procedures include isolation or enclosure of the area, the erection of warning signs, the use of exhaust extraction systems, decontamination procedures and monitoring of asbestos fibre concentrations in the air. Respiratory and personal protection must be used, and asbestos waste disposed of in an approved manner at a designated refuse site. These requirements do not apply in the case of asbestos in private homes. However, because asbestos fibres are a health hazard, home-owners are advised to hire an approved asbestos remover rather than attempt to do it themselves. See also: 'Work which needs to be notified to the Department of Labour'.
Date Modified: Monday, 8 July 2013
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