International Standards For Asbestos Registers: Stay in Compliance with International Asbestos Register Management

November 28, 2023

Sebastian Tiller

Following international standards is crucial in managing asbestos, especially when creating and maintaining asbestos registers. These globally recognised standards offer a complete framework for everyone involved, ensuring a consistent method for identifying, documenting, and managing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).

Notable standards include:

ISO 14001:2015 - Environmental Management Systems

ISO 14001:2015 outlines the requirements for an environmental management system, providing organisations with a framework to boost their performance in managing their environmental responsibilities systematically, contributing to both safety and sustainability. A critical aspect of this involves the meticulous handling of asbestos-containing materials.

Specifically, ISO 14001:2015 facilitates the identification, documentation, and management of asbestos within the broader context of an organisation's environmental activities, products, and services.

ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

ISO 45001 is an international standard outlining the requirements for managing occupational health and safety (OH&S). It serves as a framework for organisations to handle risks and enhance their OH&S performance. This standard covers various aspects, including the establishment of an OH&S policy, setting objectives, planning, implementation, operation, auditing, and review.

Notably, ISO 45001 encompasses the management of asbestos registers by addressing key elements such as hazard identification, risk assessment, legal compliance, and emergency planning.

Other, more specific asbestos-related standards can be found at the iso website.

What is an ACM register?

An ACM (Asbestos-Containing Materials) report is a detailed document that provides information about the presence, condition, and management of asbestos-containing materials within a building or facility.

How do these standards promote safe asbestos management?

International standards promote safe asbestos management by providing a structured framework for organisations. By setting criteria for the creation and maintenance of asbestos registers, these standards ensure a systematic approach to identifying and controlling asbestos-containing materials.

The focus on emergency planning, incident investigation, and continual improvement further enhances safety, fostering a work environment that prioritises the well-being of individuals and the surrounding environment.

Can these standards be applied to organisations of all sizes?

Yes, these standards are designed to be inclusive and can be applied to organisations of all sizes. Whether a small business or a large corporation, the guidelines set by international standards offer a versatile framework for effective asbestos management. This inclusivity ensures that businesses, regardless of their scale, can implement best practices to safeguard their employees and the community from the risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Can international standards be integrated with other management system standards?

Absolutely. They are designed to be seamlessly integrated with other management system standards. This integration allows organisations to adopt a holistic approach to managing asbestos-related risks while aligning with broader organisational objectives. It ensures that the processes and systems in place for asbestos management complement and enhance overall business operations, making the implementation of multiple standards efficient and effective.

How do these standards contribute to legal and regulatory compliance?

International standards contribute significantly to legal and regulatory compliance in asbestos management by helping organisations stay in line with the latest legal requirements. Adherence to these standards ensures that organisations are well-prepared to navigate the complex landscape of asbestos regulations, reducing the risk of legal repercussions.

Are these standards legally mandatory?

While international standards are not inherently legally mandatory, their adoption is highly recommended and often aligned with legal and regulatory requirements. Many jurisdictions incorporate these standards into their regulations, making compliance with them a de facto legal necessity for businesses involved in asbestos management. Embracing these standards demonstrates a commitment to best practices and can facilitate easier adherence to legal requirements.

What are the consequences if I don’t implement these standards?

Failure to implement international standards for asbestos management may result in various consequences. Apart from potential legal and regulatory penalties, organisations risk compromising the safety of their workforce and the broader community. Non-compliance may lead to increased incidents of asbestos-related illnesses, reputational damage, and financial losses.

What is the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” methodology?

The "Plan-Do-Check-Act" (PDCA) methodology is a four-step management approach used for continuous improvement and quality assurance in various processes. The four stages of PDCA are:

1. Plan

In this initial stage, organisations identify objectives and processes needed to deliver results in accordance with the set goals. This involves defining what needs to be accomplished, detailing the processes involved, and devising a plan to meet objectives.

2. Do

The "Do" stage involves the execution of the plan developed in the first step. Implementation of the processes and the carrying out of the plan occur at this stage. It is where the organisation puts the planned actions into motion.

3. Check

Following the implementation, the organisation assesses and monitors the results to ensure they align with the set objectives. This involves comparing the actual outcomes with the expected ones, evaluating performance, and determining whether any adjustments are necessary.

4. Act

Based on the findings from the "Check" stage, organisations take corrective actions and make improvements to the processes. This step involves modifying the plan to address any issues or enhance efficiency. The goal is to continually refine and optimise processes for ongoing improvement.

In the context of standards like ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management, the PDCA methodology provides a systematic and iterative approach to managing health and safety risks. It ensures that organisations continually assess, implement, and enhance their processes, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability.

Can Octfolio help me uphold international standards for asbestos register reports?

Octfolio is a robust software solution that contains many asbestos management features that help your business implement international standards such as those outlined by the ISO. This includes the ability to log all of your asbestos registers in a safe and secure location that can be accessed whenever necessary, as well as the ability to generate reports based on your asbestos registers.

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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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