If you are a managing agent of a rental property, either domestic or commercial, it is very important to have an asbestos register for each property and an asbestos management plan in place. This will protect you, your staff, tenants of the property, and any trades people you send to the property against the risk of coming into contact with deadly asbestos fibres. An asbestos register is a detailed report showing you exactly where asbestos is located within the property.
Coastal Asbestos Removal have experienced inspectors who will carry out a thorough inspection of the property and we will provide you with a full report, which contains photos, and a description of exactly where asbestos has been found within the premises. We have a program in place that will take care of all of your asbestos reporting obligations. We will carry out inspections of all of your rental properties, both domestic and commercial. Provide you with asbestos registers for each property and an asbestos management plan. We will notify you when each property is due to be inspected again so you never have to think about it. We take asbestos management very seriously and want you to know that the safety of you, your staff, tenants and trades working in the rental premises is our priority.
There are 3 important things to remember when managing the risk of asbestos in rental properties both domestic and commercial:
1. Asbestos registers should be regularly updated on all rental properties. As a guide we would recommend every 3 years. It would be prudent to redo registers at the end of each lease, as one of the most important parts of the report is to comment on the condition of the asbestos in the building, which can change as each tenant will have different uses of the building which can lead to damage in unsuspected places causing long term contamination if not treated correctly. Accidents can happen but not managing the risk of asbestos contamination is no accident.
2. It is very important to understand the definition of a workplace. Although a domestic rental property is not a work place if it is being used as a domestic rental. As soon as any work is done on this property and an incident occurs it is a workplace incident. Other incidents that make a domestic rental property a workplace are if there are people regularly working there, this could mean anything from pool guys, lawnmower guys, gardeners etc. It makes no difference who employs them the tenant or the agent.
3. This definition extends to strata titled management situations as well, most strata titled managers are wrongly under the impression that because “technically” their office is their home they are working from home, and not a work place and this is true. However, once gardeners, cleaners, pool cleaners are employed even as a contractor through ABN of a company or even a family trust structure. This property becomes a workplace.
We have contacted workplace health and safety and they have advised us if there is a workplace incident with anything including asbestos, the first questions asked will be:
What policies and procedures do you have in place for asbestos contamination and how to manage it?
How are you managing your responsibilities according to the act (How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace 2011).
The only correct answer that will protect you as a managing agent will be to have an asbestos management plan coupled with the reports for each and every property built before 1990. Workplace health and safety incidents come down to 2 things, who is responsible, and how if possible this could have been avoided. Usually they split the fine as a percentage of 100% weighing up what level of responsibility each party has, and you have responsibilities under the act. This is why these reports are a great investment as they will save you time and money in 4 ways:
* You are required by law to do this and breeches carry heavy fines.
* The cost of the reports is a fraction of any fine.
* Minimizing the risk of asbestos contamination by having registers that clearly state where asbestos is in the building removes the costs of expensive decontamination works.
* No time wasted deciding what to do, who to contact and minimizing the time wasted with the following:
Disruption to day to day operations of the business.
Dealing with workplace health and safety and legal council trying to navigate through the matter.
So when it comes to asbestos who is insured and who isn’t…
Our research shows that only businesses with specific asbestos clauses in there insurance policies are covered.
It is highly unlikely that the professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance policies you have covers agents for asbestos liability.
Also, it is highly unlikely your trades are aware they are not covered for asbestos work. All of your trades will have an exclusion for asbestos work in their public liability insurance, which means they have absolutely NO cover for asbestos work, all you have to do is ring their insurer and they will confirm this. Coastal Asbestos Removal are covered with 20 million dollars insurance for removal, reporting, transport and advice. Let us take the risk out of asbestos removal for you.
Call Coastal Asbestos Removal on 0404 839 501.