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What I need to know.

Your employer has a legal duty to eliminate or reduce so far as is reasonably practicable the risk to anyone in their workplace of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

If any part of your work includes the possibility of coming into contact with asbestos, your employer must provide you with necessary:

  • information
  • instruction
  • training
  • supervision

to enable you to perform your work in a way that is safe and without risk to health. This includes making the asbestos register readily accessible to employees and being required to advise employees of any proposed asbestos removal work.

If any part of your work is in area has asbestos which could be disturbed your employer should conduct risk assessments and implement controls to control the risk of exposure so far as is reasonably practicable.

At the same time, you have a general duty to:

  • take reasonable care for your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by your work
  • cooperate with your employer’s efforts to make the workplace safe.

This may include:

  • following workplace policies and procedures
  • using equipment correctly
  • attending health and safety training
  • helping to identify hazards and implementing risk control measures

Your employer must consult you and your fellow employees through your health and safety representative, or where one does not exist, directly, on any health and safety issues including asbestos, where it directly affects you.

If you are concerned about an asbestos issue in your workplace, you should talk to your employer or Health and Safety Representative. If you still have concerns after speaking to your employer or Health and Safety Representative, you can contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

You can find out more about your employer’s asbestos responsibilities in:

Note if you are an employee of a Licensed Asbestos Removalist the legislation includes specific duties further to the above that your employer must undertake for their employees. These can be found in the OHS Regulations 2007 Part 4.3.