For all the same reasons asbestos was used in building products it was used in ship building, mainly for its thermal qualities , its lightweight, fire proof, flexibility , durability and cheap pricing made it great for ship building all ships big an small contained asbestos all the way from super tankers through to super yachts and small runabouts. And like all asbestos if it’s in place and in good condition it really poses no real risk . To those working around asbestos in super yachts.
The application of asbestos in super yachts and indeed all shipping is the big difference, generally the higher occurrence of friable asbestos in maritime industry makes it critical that it is kept in great condition. Friable asbestos is considered a less stable form of asbestos it can release fibres more readily than asbestos held within a matrix of sheeting. It’s found in the form of the following.
- Sprayed on asbestos for fire proofing
- Softer mill board asbestos that can easily be broken up.
- Ship survey data collected by Australian Maritime Safety Agency indicates that most asbestos detection occurs in super yachts in the following areas
- Insulation and sealing materials in machinery spaces.
- Sealing materials used in construction. (eg gaskets and doorway/window sealants)
- Electric and electronic components. (eg cables and fuses)
- Insulating materials used in construction. (eg deck coverings deck heads and bulkheads)
Just like any workplace in Australia you are required to have a asbestos register and control plan in place according to state laws, this may vary from super yachts built before 1990 right thru to 2005 all states have different laws. Queensland has the 1990 law and we would suggest that this 1990 rule be adopted especially if you are planning to sail into Queensland at any time.
From 31 December 2011 the installation of asbestos in Australian ships has been prohibited. The same prohibitions were effective internationally for January 1 2001, in accordance with SOLAS chapter 11-1 Reg.3-5.2.
A total ban on importing asbestos into Australia still exists no matter where or when your super yacht was built. You will be prohibited under Customs (prohibited Imports) Regulations 156(s.4C). To sail into Australian waters if you Super Yacht contains asbestos no matter how small a quantity.
The best practice is to remove all asbestos from you Super Yacht next time you are in dry dock. As asbestos removal experts we have perfected a system to safely remove asbestos from Super Yachts while they are in for repairs that allows all other works to proceed outside of the asbestos removal area to keep maintenance schedules on budget and time call the office on 0755703706 between 9am and 4 pm Monday to Friday to find out more.