Upcoming asbestos management compliance audits for Queensland businesses

From the 1st of August, 2024, inspectors from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will begin assessing companies housed in infrastructures erected prior to 1990, along with those that may contain asbestos. This initiative is designed to uphold compliance with asbestos regulations.

This audit exercise, set to conclude by the 31st of October, will focus primarily on the imperative for asbestos registers and management plans. If you are operating in a premises developed before 1990, it’s crucial to utilise work safety products like a Bluesafe WHS Management System or SWMS to efficiently manage your asbestos register and plan.

A comprehensive Workplace Code of Practice (PDF, 0.97 MB) will help facilitate this process by providing detailed information pertaining to legal standards. Non-compliance will be addressed stringently through various enforcement actions, including issuing statutory notices and immediate penalties.

The statewide inspection forms an integral part of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019-2023 (NSP) and the Statewide Strategic Plan for the Safe Management of Asbestos in Queensland 2022-2025. These initiatives collectively aim to eradicate asbestos-related illnesses in Australia by curbing exposure to hazardous asbestos fibres.

This necessitates strictly regulated use and disposal of asbestos, while also focusing on the enduring harmful impact of asbestos present in homes, workplaces, and the broader environment.

Reflecting on last year’s campaign between September and November 2023, we see an example of enforcing these regulations – resulting in 103 improvement warnings and ten penalty notifications being issued for the 139 firms evaluated.

It is of paramount importance that each company take necessary measures to safeguard workers and local communities whilst adhering strictly to asbestos legislations. The effectiveness of a tool such as Bluesafe SWMS or Bluesafe WHS Management System consolidates this adherence by ensuring proper planning and record keeping.

More information about asbestos registers and management programs for workplaces are available at ‘Asbestos Registers’. More details about the Statewide Strategic Plan for the Safe Management of Asbestos in Queensland 2022-2025 is also accessible.

Original article link: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/news-and-events/news/2024/upcoming-asbestos-management-compliance-audits-for-queensland-businesses

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