Cleaning up asbestos contaminated dust or debris

The Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations 2011 contain specific obligations for a number of duty holders in relation to safely removing asbestos, including requirements for asbestos removalists to be licensed.

Asbestos-containing dust or debris (ACD) at a workplace must be cleaned up by a licensed Class A asbestos removalist unless:

  • associated with a Class B asbestos removal job
  • generated by a removal job of 10 m2 or less of non-friable asbestos
  • it is a ‘minor contamination’ not associated with asbestos removal

What is asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD)?

Asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD) is dust or debris that has settled within a workplace and it is, or assumed to be, contaminated with asbestos. Examples of ACD include:

  • ACD that has been accidentally dislodged from a wall or ceiling following a collision
  • ACD that accumulated over time:
    • in an asbestos-containing material (ACM) pipeline or conduit, surrounding an ACM cement flue
    • in an electrical switchboard with an ACM electrical mounting board or conduit box
    • on a horizontal surface covered by an ACM roof
    • in the metal guttering from an ACM roof

If it is reasonably practicable to remove the source of a minor contamination, this must be done. Depending on the amount of ACD and its state, removal of the source must be done by a licensed removalist (unless it is less than 10 square metres of non-friable ACM).

In other cases the risk must be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.

Further information can be found on the Safe Work Australia fact sheet Minor contamination of asbestos-containing dust or debris.