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Interesting Facts About Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is a naturally occurring material in the environment and is a
collective name used to refer to various fibrous silicate compounds. The use
of it began almost 4000 years ago, but the large-scale use of ACM only
began in the late 19th century due to the industrial revolution and trends
towards modern buildings. For many years, it was commonly used in
residential and commercial properties that were built or renovated before
1986 in Australia.

It was widely used because of its excellent mechanical properties that
make fibre appealing for many construction agencies. It is fire and water-
resistant, has a good tensile strength, as well as good affordability. It can
commonly be found in roofing, fencing, cement sheeting, exterior and
interior walls, paints, and insulations.
The model WHS Regulations set out the training and competency
requirements for asbestos assessors, asbestos removal workers and

Under the model WHS Regulations two licences have been established—
Class A and Class B.

Businesses with a Class A licence are permitted to remove all types of
asbestos, including both friable and non-friable asbestos.

Businesses with a Class B licence can only remove non-friable asbestos.

Generally, the Victorian regulation permits an employer or self-employed
person to perform an elimination in Melbourne without a license if:

• The material is non-friable
• The area of ACM to be removed does not exceed 10 square meters in
• But, only class-A licensed person can remove friable materials

• Friable asbestos is material
containing asbestos that when
dry, is in powder form or may be
crushed or pulverised into
powder form by hand pressure.
This material poses a higher risk
of exposing people to airborne
asbestos fibres.

• Non-friable asbestos is all forms of
asbestos other than friable asbestos
and includes asbestos cement sheeting
and other materials where asbestos
fibres are bonded into a matrix. If
non-friable asbestos is damaged or
degraded it may become friable and
will then pose a higher risk of fibre
When Can I Remove Asbestos?
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007, a self-
employed person can conduct a limited amount of asbestos removal work
without a licence if:

• The asbestos-containing material is non-friable; and
• The area of asbestos-containing material to be removed does not exceed
10 square metres in total; and
• The total time asbestos removal work is performed in any period of seven
days does not exceed one hour (this period is the cumulative total time the
asbestos removal work is carried out by all employees over a period of
seven days).