Wearing protective equipment

Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn at all times during asbestos removal work. Wearing the right protective equipment is essential to protecting your health.

You must use the following PPE during removal work:

  • respiratory protective equipment
  • gloves
  • footwear
  • coveralls

Respiratory Protective Equipment

Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) must be worn when removing asbestos. Ordinary dust masks will not protect you from inhaling asbestos fibres or dust.

You need to use a half-face filter respirator fitted with a class P1 or P2 filter cartridge, or a class P1 or P2 disposable respirator appropriate for asbestos that complies with the requirements of Australian Standards AS/NZS 1716.

Disposable respirators are not preferred, however if selected, it should be stored in a suitable and clean location before use and disposed of after a single use.

The respirator should have an airtight fit. You should read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to check the fit of the respirator.

Keep your respirator on until all work and clean-up is done and your contaminated coveralls and other PPE is removed, bagged and sealed.


You should use single-use disposable gloves. If latex gloves must be used, low protein (powder free) gloves should be used. If latex gloves are not available, disposable nitrile gloves can be used as an alternative.

Gloves used for asbestos removal work should be disposed of as asbestos waste and you should clean your hands and fingernails thoroughly whenever leaving the asbestos removal work area.


Safety footwear (for example, steel-capped, rubber-soled work shoes or gumboots) should be used when you are removing asbestos. Your footwear should be laceless, as laces and eyelets can be contaminated. Avoid disposable overshoes unless you buy the type that has an anti-slip soles.


It is recommended that you use disposable coveralls rated type 5, category 3 (prEN ISO 13982–1) or equivalent to prevent tearing or penetration of asbestos fibres.

The coveralls should be one size too big to prevent ripping at the seams, and be fitted with hood and cuffs. Loose cuffs should be sealed with tape and the coverall legs worn over your footwear, not tucked into your footwear to prevent fibre contamination. The hood should be worn over the respirator straps.

After your work is complete, spray your coveralls with a light mist of water before removing them. Remember to keep your respirator on when doing this. Seal all of these in your asbestos waste bags for disposal.