Airborne Asbestos Monitoring
Air monitoring involves sampling airborne asbestos fibres to assist in assessing exposure to asbestos and the effectiveness of any implemented control measures. It must be conducted in accordance with the Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Dust, 2nd Edition [NOHSC: 3003 (2005)].
When is Airborne Asbestos Monitoring Required?
Airborne Asbestos Monitoring requirements will vary depending on the type of asbestos being removed, the location and position of the asbestos materials, if an enclosure is used during the removal works and whether the asbestos removal work is located within an enclosed building or outside.
Friable asbestos removal – Air monitoring is mandatory for all stages of the friable asbestos removal works. This includes during the removal, during the enclosure dismantling and while undertaking the friable clearance inspection.
More than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos removal – Air monitoring is not required but is recommended to be carried out by an independent licensed asbestos assessor or competent person to ensure compliance with the duty of care to eliminate or minimise exposure to airborne asbestos and to ensure the exposure standard is not exceeded.
Public Location – Air monitoring should be considered where the asbestos removal works are being undertaken in or next to a public location to ensure that no asbestos fibres leave the removal area and pedestrians are not put at risk during the removal works.
Exposure air monitoring – Air monitoring may be carried out at other times to determine a worker’s exposure to airborne asbestos if, based on reasonable grounds, there is uncertainty as to whether the exposure standard may be exceeded and a risk assessment by a competent person indicates that it is necessary. Since most uses of asbestos are prohibited, exposure monitoring should not be frequently required.
As per the codes of practice – how to remove asbestos safely How to Safely Remove Asbestos Code of Practice [PDF]
Airborne asbestos monitoring is undertaken to assure the asbestos removal is being done safely, ensuring no asbestos contamination is spreading outside of the work area during the asbestos removal. Monitoring following removal works (clearance monitoring) is to ensure the area is safe to reoccupy without the need for protective equipment following the removal works. Airborne asbestos monitoring not only helps secure your peace of mind but also that of your neighbours, especially if legal action was to occur down the line.