Asbestos register

If you manage or control a workplace, it’s your responsibility to ensure an asbestos register is prepared, maintained and kept at the workplace.

  • An asbestos register is a document that lists all identified—or assumed—asbestos in a workplace.

The asbestos register must:

  • record any asbestos that has been identified or is assumed to be present at the workplace
  • record the date when the asbestos was identified
  • record the location, type and condition of the asbestos
  • be maintained to ensure up-to-date information
  • be given to the employer or business when there is a change of management or controller of the workplace.

An asbestos register may also contain information such as:

  • details about asbestos that is assumed to be present at the workplace
  • analysis results confirming whether asbestos is at the workplace
  • details of inaccessible areas.

Where possible asbestos must be labelled. For example, a label can be placed in the electrical meter box indicating that the building contains asbestos and the location of the register.

Photographs or drawings are useful for showing the location of asbestos in the workplace.

An asbestos register is not required for a workplace if:

  • it was a building constructed after 31 December 2003
  • no asbestos has been identified in the workplace
  • no asbestos is likely to be present at the workplace from time-to-time.

Asbestos management plan

A person who has management or control of the workplace must ensure that an asbestos management plan is prepared if asbestos has been identified.

The asbestos management plan must:

  • Identify the location of asbestos and any naturally occurring asbestos.
  • Include decisions—and reasons for them—about the management of asbestos at the workplace, for example safe work procedures and control measures.
  • Outline procedures for incidents and emergencies involving asbestos, including who is responsible for what.
  • Be maintained with up-to-date information.
  • Be reviewed at least every five years or when requested by a health and safety representative, or when asbestos is removed, disturbed, sealed or enclosed, or when changes to a control measure are made or when the plan is no longer adequate.
  • Be accessible to any worker who has carried out or intends to carry out work at the workplace and any health and safety representatives who represent workers at the workplace.
  • Provide information, consultation and training responsibilities to workers carrying out work involving asbestos.

Other information that could be included in the asbestos management plan includes:

  • An outline of how asbestos risks will be controlled, including consideration of appropriate control measures.
  • A timetable for managing risks of exposure, including dates and procedures for the review of the asbestos management plan and activities that could affect the timing of a review.
  • Identify those with responsibilities and their responsibility under the asbestos management plan.
  • Air monitoring procedures at the workplace, if required.

Choosing the best control measure

When choosing the most appropriate control measure, you should consider:

  • Eliminating the risk, for example removing the asbestos.
  • Substituting or isolating the risk or applying engineering controls, for example enclosing, encapsulating, sealing or using certain tools, using administrative controls, for example safe work practices.
  • Using PPE.