Asbestos site clearance is the process of removing and disposing of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) from a site in a safe and controlled manner. ACMs were widely used in construction and other industries until the 1980s when the health hazards of asbestos exposure were discovered. Asbestos fibres are extremely dangerous when inhaled and can cause serious respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

The first step in asbestos site clearance is to identify any materials that contain asbestos, such as insulation, ceiling tiles, flooring, and roofing materials. This is typically done through an asbestos survey, which involves taking samples of suspected materials and analysing them in a laboratory.

Once the presence of ACMs has been confirmed, the site clearance process can begin. This involves setting up a secure, enclosed area around the affected area to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres. Workers who will be involved in the removal process must wear protective clothing and equipment, including respirators and coveralls.

The ACMs are then carefully removed from the site and placed in sealed, labelled containers for disposal at a licensed hazardous waste facility. After all ACMs have been removed, the site is cleaned and inspected to ensure that no asbestos fibres remain.

Asbestos site clearance must be carried out by trained and licensed professionals who have the expertise and equipment necessary to ensure that the process is carried out safely and in accordance with all relevant regulations and guidelines. It is essential to ensure that all ACMs are identified and removed from a site to prevent the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres, which can have serious health consequences.

Clearance inspections

After the licensed asbestos removal work has been completed, an inspection process is necessary to ensure that the area is safe to use. This inspection involves both a visual assessment and air monitoring to verify that there are no remaining asbestos fibres present.

What is the clearance certificate?

Once the disposal work is completed, a licensed asbestos assessor will provide an inspection service to check for visible asbestos contamination in the surrounding area. Upon completion of the inspection, the assessor will issue a certificate as proof that the area has been cleared of any visible asbestos contamination.

When does a hazardous material inspection need to be done?

Prior to commencing any disposal work, site owners are required to conduct a hazardous material inspection at the site to identify the presence of friable asbestos or asbestos-contaminated dust. A Class A asbestos license is mandatory to handle friable asbestos.

A class B asbestos removal license needs for either

In cases where there is non-friable asbestos or asbestos-containing material exceeding an area of 10 square meters at the site, a Class B asbestos disposal license is necessary for handling the asbestos.

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