Asbestos Reporting for Commercial Properties Australia

November 8, 2022

Sebastian Tiller

Asbestos reporting for commercial properties keeps buildings safe for the general populace, as well as compliant with Government asbestos regulations – both state and federal.

Examples of commercial properties include;

  • Hospitality buildings (i.e. cafes, kitchens, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels, etc.)
  • Shopping centres, supermarkets, office buildings
  • Local Government buildings (i.e. childcare facilities, public toilets, libraries, sporting facilities, etc.)
  • State Government buildings (i.e. schools, prisons, police stations, train stations etc.)
  • Federal Government buildings (i.e. courts, defence buildings, department buildings, etc.)
  • Agricultural buildings (i.e. farms, abattoirs, wineries, etc.)
  • Health care facilities (i.e. chemists/pharmacies, hospitals, aged care, vet clinics, etc.)
  • Transport buildings (i.e. airports, car parks, garages, public transport stations, etc.)
  • Recreational facilities (i.e. museums, cinemas, gyms, parks, etc.)
  • School buildings
  • Industrial buildings (i.e. distribution centres, factories, utilities, warehouses, etc.)
  • Home offices and places of religious worship

It is important to ensure these buildings are as asbestos free as possible. Not only is this to ensure the safety of everybody inside a building, but it is also to maintain the building’s compliance with Government asbestos regulations.

What is asbestos reporting for a commercial property?

In order to ensure the asbestos compliance of a building, it is important for an asbestos register to be created and then updated accordingly. The register documents all of the information associated with an asbestos containing material (ACM), such as;

  • Whether it was fixed or installed
  • Whether the area it was located in is accessible and/or likely to be damaged
  • How frequent that area is accessed
  • The likelihood that the ACM will be disturbed
  • Whether or not the ACM has been tested by a tester from the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)
  • The date when the ACM was tested 
  • The results of the testing

The results of the register are then compiled into asbestos reports that are then distributed amongst key stakeholders that are important to the building’s asbestos management plan. The asbestos management plan is at its most effective when reports are kept up to date.

Whose responsibility is it to conduct asbestos reporting for a commercial property?

The answer depends on which state you live in. Victoria and Western Australia, for example, have state legislation in place that puts the responsibility of asbestos management (and reporting) on the owner of the property.

However; New South Wales, Queensland, ACT, Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia derive their asbestos regulations from the Federal Model Work Health and Safety legislation introduced in 2011 (current amendments dated 14 April 2022, as of this article’s writing).

With this legislation, the responsibility of asbestos management is put onto the person renting the property from the owner, as they are the ones most likely to be operating the business inside said property.

For more information, you can read the Model Work Health and Safety Act from the Safe Work Australia website.

What other asbestos-related responsibilities would I have as the owner of a commercial property?

When it comes to asbestos management, the responsibilities of the building’s owner revolve around the effective control, management and removal of asbestos in their building to ensure that all work complies with regulations.

This includes the creation of an asbestos management plan, the facilitation of asbestos documentation strategies such as registers and reporting, and the distribution of asbestos documentation amongst important stakeholders.

Where can I go for more information on asbestos reporting in my state?

How can Octfolio help me with asbestos reporting for a commercial property?

Octfolio is a complete asbestos management software solution that has all of the features you need to manage asbestos in your building. This includes comprehensive asbestos registers, as well as the easy creation and distribution of asbestos reports.  

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Sebastian Tiller

Seb has a long history of delivering elegant solutions to complex business problems that conform to the most exacting compliance standards. He prides himself on his ability to connect with customers and humanise software solutions to be understandable and useful to all parties. He’s also enjoys playing story-based single player games and spending time with his young family, building LEGO, attending recitals, and experiencing new restaurants with his wife.

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