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Using a Licensed Asbestos Removalist

When to use a licensed asbestos removalist

Under Victorian law, an employer or self-employed person can conduct a limited amount of asbestos removal work without a licence involving:

  • the removal of non-friable asbestos-containing material if:
    • the area of asbestos-containing material to be removed does not exceed 10 square metres in total, and
    • the total time asbestos removal work is performed in any period of seven days does not exceed one hour (this period is the cumulative total time the asbestos removal work is carried out by all employees over a period of seven days).
  • the removal of asbestos-contaminated dust if:
    • the asbestos removal work does not exceed 10 minutes in total, and
    • the total time asbestos removal work is performed in any period of seven days does not exceed one hour (this period is the cumulative total time the asbestos removal work is carried out by all employees over a period of seven days).

Further information on the requirements for training, signage, personal protective equipment, decontamination processes, packaging of asbestos waste and disposal requirements can be found in the Compliance code: Removing asbestos in workplaces.

All other non-friable asbestos and all friable asbestos must always be removed by a licensed asbestos removalist.

Types of asbestos removal licences

There are two types of licences for asbestos removal – Class A and Class B.

Class B licence holders are only permitted to perform Class B asbestos removal work, which means asbestos removal work (other than limited asbestos removal work) involving the removal of:

  1. non-friable asbestos, or
  2. asbestos-contaminated dust associated with or derived from the removal of non-friable asbestos.

Class A licence-holders are permitted to perform Class B and Class A asbestos removal work, which means asbestos removal work (other than limited asbestos removal work) involving the removal of:

  1. friable asbestos, or
  2. asbestos-contaminated dust (other than asbestos-contaminated dust associated with or derived from the removal of non-friable asbestos).

Find out how to engage a licensed asbestos removalist.

Case Studies

These case studies can be used to help determine whether you need a licenced asbestos removalist, and which class of licence is required.

Examples of when a licence is not required:

  • A single asbestos cement sheet is required to be removed to install an air conditioner. The sheet is non-friable and in good condition. It is two square metres in total and will take less than 30 minutes for two employees to remove. No employees of the company have done any other asbestos removal work over the previous seven days. This job may be performed by a company that is not a licensed asbestos removalist, observing the requirements outlined in 'General requirements for all asbestos removal' in the Removing asbestos in workplaces compliance code.
  • A self-employed person is required to remove an asbestos cement eave to enable access for pipes. The asbestos cement eave is is non-friable and in good condition. It is 1.6 square metres in total and will take less than one hour to remove. The self-employed person has not done any other asbestos removal work over the previous seven days. This job may be performed by the self-employed person who is not a licensed asbestos removalist, observing the requirements outlined in the Removing asbestos in workplaces compliance code.

Examples of when a licence is required

  • A person is engaged to remove asbestos cement sheets from a factory toilet block. The cement sheets are non-friable and in good condition, with an area of 12 square metres in total requiring removal. The person must be a licensed asbestos removalist. Because the material to be removed is non-friable, the work can be done by a Class A or Class B licensed removalist.
  • A self-employed person is required to remove an asbestos cement eave to enable access for a pipe. The asbestos cement eave is 1.6 square metres in total, is non-friable, in good condition and will take less than one hour to remove. However, the person has performed a similar job in the previous six days and the total time of the two jobs will exceed one hour in a seven-day period. Unless this person is a licensed (Class A or B) asbestos removalist, they cannot perform the job. Note: For the purposes of determining the total amount of time an employer or self-employed person performs asbestos removal work, the total cumulative time during a seven day period that all employees, independent contractors, and self-employed persons will perform such work is to be included. Therefore, if a company is to perform an asbestos removal job involving three employees working for approximately 30 minutes each, the company will have carried out 90 minutes of work and must have an asbestos removal licence to perform the job.
  • A company is engaged to dismantle and remove a small asbestos cement tool shed. It contains approximately 18 square metres of non-friable asbestos cement sheet. The company has two employees who will perform the job and it will take them 45 minutes each (working together). Therefore, the total time the company will spend performing the job is 90 minutes and it will exceed both the '10 square metres' and 'one hour in seven days' limits. Only one of these criteria needs to be exceeded for a licensed removalist to be required, which means the company must be licensed (class A or B).
  • A company is required to remove 0.5m3 of asbestos lagging from a pipe in order to carry out maintenance work. This involves the removal of friable asbestos. A Class A licensed removalist is required to do this work.