In August this year Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors will begin auditing businesses operating from buildings likely to contain asbestos (likely if built before 1990), and those that handle or store asbestos.
The audits will focus on compliance with the requirement to develop asbestos registers and management plans in accordance with the Management of asbestos and associated risks regulation (Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 - part 8.3). Inspectors will respond to breaches of the legislation by taking enforcement action that may include the issue of statutory notices and on-the-spot fines.
The state-wide audit campaign is part of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 which aims to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in Australia by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres. This requires the effective targeting of asbestos use and disposal while addressing the harmful legacy of asbestos in homes, workplaces and the environment.
The NSP ensures there is a nationally consistent and coordinated approach to asbestos awareness, management and removal. It outlines a phased approach to eliminating asbestos-related diseases in Australia. Target 5 of the NSP is that by 2023, all commercial buildings which are required by law to maintain asbestos registers, have up-to-date registers and management plans that are actively being implemented.