Asbestos management standard

Application

All members of the University

Purpose

To provide a strategy for the management and control of risks from asbestos material

Introduction

The University is committed to and recognises its duty of care to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was used in thousands of products, from building materials to crayons. Asbestos material is embedded in many University properties and some plant and machinery. If asbestos material is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, best practice is to leave it in place to limit fibre release. If asbestos fibres are released and respired in sufficient quantity, serious harm including cancer can occur.

University asbestos management focuses on health and also on the optimal manner and timing of any intervention if appropriate relating to asbestos material. When asbestos material needs to be disturbed, strict controls will be used and attention will be paid to minimising disruption to University activities, and timely communication will help keep people informed and confident in the processes used.

Asbestos management is part of the University’s Health and Safety system in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, and the Health and Safety at Work (General Risks and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016. Asbestos management is an integral part of property and asset management at the University. 

Standard

General

1. People at the University are not to be harmed due to the presence of asbestos material.
2. Resources will be made available to manage asbestos material at the University.
3. Roles and responsibilities relating to asbestos material and management will be defined established and coordinated.
4. An Asbestos Steering Group will oversee asbestos management.
5. An Asbestos Advisor will advise on operational activity relating to asbestos work.
6. The University will have clear documented procedures and business rules for managing asbestos work and for recording asbestos materials, incidents, and responses.
7. University members will be informed and trained appropriately for their role so they understand relevant University asbestos management protocols.
8. The University will not procure buildings, property, products, plant and machinery that contain asbestos material, unless a risk assessment is undertaken and approved by the Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Committee.
9. All spaces owned or leased by or to the University, as well as plant and machinery, will be checked, by a suitably qualified and experienced person, to identify the presence or absence of asbestos material. Note: Identifying asbestos material may include presuming asbestos material to be present.
10. Identified asbestos material will be entered into the asbestos register, risk-assessed, controlled, and monitored.
11. The University will maintain an asbestos information portal that will be the up-to-date point of information about asbestos material and actions related to asbestos material.
12. A timetable will be produced for managing and reviewing identified asbestos material risks.
13. Risk to people, medium to long-term plans for the buildings or space, activities in a space, and the condition of the asbestos material will be taken into account when prioritising the order in which asbestos material is removed or abated.
14. Any asbestos work must be undertaken by suitably qualified, experienced and University-approved suppliers.
15. The University will devise, communicate (to all relevant stakeholders including emergency services), and test and practice emergency plans related to the uncontrolled release of asbestos.
16. The University will consult, co-operate, and co-ordinate with other organisations where there is a joint asbestos responsibility.
17. The University will ensure that the asbestos management system is suitably implemented, reviewed, and improved.
18. The University will pro-actively keep abreast of developments that improve asbestos management and will review and update the University’s asbestos management approach as applicable.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to this document:
Approved contractor. A contractor who has been approved through the University’s procurement and compliance process.
Asbestos material means product made entirely of asbestos, products or material that contain asbestos (ACM), or Asbestos-Contaminated Dust or Debris (ACD).
Asbestos advisor means a University-appointed person with expertise and knowledge of asbestos assisting and advising on issues related to asbestos and its management.
Asbestos register. A register detailing the location and characteristics of asbestos material.
Asbestos Steering Group is a committee of people with a range of experience, knowledge, skill and qualifications to provide sound guidance and to make appropriate decisions on the management of asbestos at the University.
Asbestos work is either asbestos-related work or asbestos removal work as defined in the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations, 2016. That is, in principle any work involving asbestos material including maintenance, repairs, cleaning, removal, research and teaching.
Control in relation to a health and safety risk means a measure to eliminate or minimise the risk. Controls include removing the risk, barriers, administrative processes and work methods, personal protective equipment, and re-checking and evaluation.
Machinery is a collective term for machines and their parts. A machine is considered to be any powered apparatus that has interrelated parts and is used to perform work.
Members means those persons who make up the University as set out in s3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and all employees, students, Council committee members, and employees of University owned companies and where appropriate contractors and sub-contractors and invitees.
Monitor in the context of working with asbestos means regularly checking, evaluating and recording the status of asbestos material that remains in situ.
Plant is a general name for machinery, equipment, appliances, implements or tools and any component or fitting or accessory of these. It can include things as diverse as presses in a foundry, excavators and trucks in mining, and photocopiers in an
office. It can range from electric drills, lifts, escalators, tractors, hand trolleys, cranes, and other lifting gear to arc welding gear.
Risk refers to the combination of the likelihood of occurrence of a work-related hazardous event or exposure(s) and the severity of injury and ill-health that can be caused by the event or exposures.
Risk assessment refers to the process of evaluating the risk(s) arising from a hazard(s), taking into account the adequacy of any existing controls, and deciding whether or not the risk(s) is acceptable.
Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part-time basis.
University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.
University space means a building, facility or grounds that the University owns or leases.

Key relevant documents

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: Dec 2019
Next Review: Dec 2022
Owner: hsw@auckland.ac.nz
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing