Asbestos has been mined in South Africa since 1930 and was a popular material used in over 3000
different products in the building and engineering industries over more than a century. Asbestos exposure
resulted in many deaths as a result of diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Although the use of asbestos in new work has been banned in South Africa since 2008, there are many
asbestos containing materials (ACMs) that are still in use today.
Employees may unknowingly be exposed to asbestos during maintenance, decorating, renovating or even demolishing of redundant plant equipment and buildings. Injudicious disturbance of asbestos may contaminate workplaces, which may present a serious health risk to employees, occupants or even members of the public.
Asbestos may, for example, be present in fibre cement products, roof sheeting, gutters, water tanks, decorative textured coating on ceilings, in boiler and pipe lagging, or as thermal, acoustic or fire retardant insulation. The Asbestos Regulations, OHSAct (85 of 1993) requires, amongst others, the following:
- An assessment of potential exposure must be conducted at intervals not exceeded two years.
- A written inventory of the location of asbestos in workplace, buildings, plant or premises must be made and maintained.
- Written safe work procedures must be laid down and followed during maintenance, alterations, renovations, repairs and dismantling of buildings that contain asbestos cement sheeting and related products.
- An Asbestos Plan of Work that has been approved by an Approved Asbestos Inspection Authority must be followed during demolition, alteration, stripping, removing, repairing, gleaning or high-pressure water jetting of any structure containing asbestos lagging or insulation.
In order to comply with the requirements of the said regulations, AirCHECK can assist your company in
managing asbestos by providing the following surveys:
- Asbestos Management Surveys.
- Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys.
- Air Monitoring of Asbestos Fibre Concentrations during Asbestos Work.
Asbestos Management Surveys
The purpose of an asbestos management survey is to locate the presence and extent of any suspect ACMs in the building which could be damaged or disturbed during normal occupancy and routine maintenance of the premises, as well as to assess the condition of the materials. Asbestos management surveys may involve a combination of sampling and analysis to confirm if asbestos is present or presuming asbestos to be present.
AirCHECK has a fully-equipped Asbestos Laboratory to identify asbestos in bulk materials in accordance with the method prescribed in HSG 248 (2005), Asbestos: The analysts' guide for sampling, analysis and clearance procedures, HSE, United Kingdom.
Asbestos Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys
A refurbishment and demolition survey is needed before any refurbishment or demolition work is carried out. This type of survey is used to locate and describe, as far as reasonably practicable, all ACMs in the area where the refurbishment work will take place or in the whole building if demolition is planned. Refurbishment and demolition surveys are intended to locate all the asbestos in the building (or the relevant part), as far as reasonably practicable. It is a disruptive and fully intrusive survey which may need to penetrate all parts of the building structure.
Air Monitoring of Asbestos Fibre Concentrations during Asbestos Work
AirCHECK is an Approved Asbestos Inspection Authority with over 30 years’ experience to manage any type of asbestos project. We provide independent supervision during asbestos removal and demolition projects, which reduces the risk of potential exposure and building contamination. We offer the following asbestos services to ensure that asbestos projects are completed within the shortest time possible and that costs are kept as low as possible.
- Drafting of written asbestos work procedures for asbestos cement work in terms of Regulation 15 of the Asbestos Regulations.
- Drafting and approval of asbestos plan of work for asbestos demolition work in terms of Regulation 21 of the Asbestos Regulations.
- Notification of the Department of Labour as required in terms of Regulation 3 of the Asbestos Regulations.
- Background or reassurance sampling.
- Leak testing / perimeter sampling.
- Personal sampling to assess the suitability of respiratory protection.
- Clearance indicator sampling for site reoccupation certification.