Air monitoring

Air monitoring is used to test the air for the presence of airborne asbestos fibres. Air monitoring allows the effectiveness of control measures and potential exposure to asbestos to be assessed. The air monitoring must be done in accordance with the Safe Work Australia Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Fibres 2nd Edition.

Who is responsible for organising the air monitoring?

If you have organised the removal of asbestos in a workplace, it is your responsibility to organise an independent asbestos assessor who was not involved in the removal work to do the air monitoring.

If you are a homeowner who has hired a licensed asbestos removalist to remove asbestos from your residential premises, your licensed asbestos removalist is responsible for organising the air monitoring.

When is air monitoring required?

Air monitoring must be done before the start and during removal of friable asbestos (Class A removal). If the glove bag technique is being used, air monitoring is only required during the removal work. Air monitoring must be carried out as part of the clearance inspection and for any asbestos related work if you are uncertain as to whether the exposure standard for asbestos is likely to be exceeded.

Who is qualified to do the air monitoring?

For friable asbestos removal, an independent licensed asbestos assessor must be contracted to do the air monitoring when it is required.

For non-friable asbestos removal (more than 10 m²), an independent licensed asbestos assessor or competent person must be contracted to do the air monitoring when it is required.

An occupational hygienist or a person who has a statement of attainment in the VET course for asbestos assessors (CPCCBC5014A Conduct asbestos assessment associated with removal) should be competent to conduct air monitoring for asbestos fibres, if they have experience with asbestos and asbestos containing material.

To be considered independent the asbestos assessor or competent person must not have been involved in the removal work or be involved or part of the business hired to do the removal work.
A list of licensed asbestos assessors is available on the NT WorkSafe website.

Communicating the results of the air monitoring

If you organised the licensed asbestos removal work, you must ensure the results of the air monitoring are given to:

  • workers at the workplace
  • health and safety representatives for the workplace
  • persons conducting businesses or undertakings at the workplace
  • other persons at the workplace

If the workplace is residential premises, the licensed asbestos removalist must ensure the results are given to:

  • the person who organised the work
  • workers at the workplace
  • health and safety representatives for the workplace
  • persons conducting businesses or undertakings at the workplace
  • the occupier of the residential premises
  • the owner of the residential premises
  • other persons at the workplace