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Curtin University
Health, Safety and Emergency Management

Asbestos

Q. What is Asbestos?
A. Asbestos cement products such as building materials ('fibro'), fences, switchboards, roof, sheeting, sprayed on insulation, vinyl floor sheeting, vinyl floor tiles, compressed sheeting lining, laboratory tabletops, woven asbestos products such as linings to furnaces, heater banks (air-conditioning ducts), roofing felts, suspended ceiling tiles and industrial gaskets.  
Q. What products may contain asbestos?
A. Asbestos cement products such as building materials ('fibro'), fences, switchboards, roof sheeting, sprayed on insulation, vinyl floor sheeting, vinyl floor tiles, compressed sheeting lining laboratory tabletops, woven asbestos products such as linings to furnaces, heater banks (air-conditioning ducts), roofing felts, suspended ceiling tiles and industrial gaskets.  
Q. What are the risks?
A.  Asbestos only poses a risk to health when asbestos fibres are breathed in. The presence of asbestos in building materials generally does not pose a health risk unless the material is broken, deteriorating or disturbed in such a way that airborne asbestos fibres are released. There is the potential for this to occur when asbestos-containing materials are broken or disturbed.
Q. What should I do if I encounter suspected Asbestos Containing Materials? (ACM)
A. Do not disturb the area or the material. Stop work and vacate the area (Isolate the area if safe to do so). Anyone who identifies or suspects they have identified an unmarked product containing asbestos should IMMEDIATEY report it to: *  Facilities Management: Ext 2020 or *  Health, Safety and Emergency Management : Ext. 4900
Q. What is the Asbestos Management Plan? (AMP)
A. The AMP sets out the University's strategy for minimising the risk of any person being exposed to asbestos on a Curtin University owned site. The Asbestos Management Plan is available here: http://healthandsafety.curtin.edu.au/hazardous-materials/asbestos.cfm 
Q. What is the Asbestos Materials Register? (AMR)
A. Part of the AMP is an AMR. This register is a reference tool to allow stakeholders to check a location for any materials confirmed or suspected of containing asbestos. The AMR also contains details on the condition and type of any AMC identified on the premises (including ACM in items of plant and equipment). The AMR includes the findings and recommended control measures decided upon as a result of any risk assessment carried out.
Q. How often must a review be undertaken of ACM at a workplace?
A. Asbestos management is based on appropriate management of risk; and some ACM products are known to have a very long and stable effective life. A competent person may reasonably consider that ACM in very good condition and with low risk of disturbance requires less frequent review and assessment than the 12 months stated in the asbestos management Code of Practice. Reduction in review and assessment frequency must be supported by:  the written recommendation of a competent person based on risk; and adequate systems at the workplace to report any damage, disturbance or work involving the ACM that occurs during the interval until the next risk assessment and register review. In any event, the register of ACM and associated risk assessments must be reviewed at least every three years.