Asbestos in New Zealand is a significant health hazard. A highly-effective and inexpensive fire-retardant material and thermal and acoustic insulator, asbestos was used extensively in home construction from the early 1940s through the 1980s.
However, we now know that prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to lung disease. When disturbed, tiny abrasive asbestos fibres are easily inhaled, which damages lung tissue and can cause cancer.
Asbestos containing materials were imported into New Zealand until 2016. As a result, it is possible that even recently built properties include asbestos containing materials. However, as a rule of thumb, properties built before 2000 are considered likely to include materials that contain asbestos. While properties built in 2000 or later are less likely to include materials that contain asbestos
In homes built prior to 1975, asbestos is most commonly found as thermal insulation on basement boilers and pipes. Unfortunately, it can also be found in a multitude of other household materials.
Under the HSWA (Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016), Persons Controlling Businesses or Undertakings (PCBUs) are required to have in place an asbestos management plan. This identifies how asbestos containing materials will be managed to ensure that anyone who accesses their property remains healthy and safe. As part of the Asbestos Management Plan development process, it may be appropriate to have a detailed asbestos survey completed and this is where CPINZ can help.
Why you should do an Asbestos Survey
Protect your property and inhabitants from asbestos
Comply with the control of asbestos regulation
Understand whether your building contains asbestos and what type of asbestos
Plan and manage asbestos and asbestos risk
What is required for Business Owners by law?
The PCBU (Person Conducting Business or Undertaking), based on HSWA (Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016) must make sure that any ACM (asbestos containing materials) at the workplace is considered and taken into account prior to any work being undertaken.
A PCBU who does not follow HSWA regulations, could be liable with significant fines – up to $50,000 – and/or conviction.
As of April 2018 it became mandatory for a PCBU to ensure there is an:
Have an Asbestos Register for the workplace
Have an Asbestos Management Plan (to locate the extent and assess the condition of, as far as is practicable, any suspected asbestos containing material (ACM) in a building)
Provide access to the Asbestos Register to other parties coming on site