September News & Industry Updates

Published September 13, 2019

AHCA – Asbestos in Soils forum

The AHCA is hosting the Asbestos in Soils Forum on Tuesday 24 September 2019. The NSW EPA has kindly offered to present on the evening. This includes:

Jill Gallagher – Manager Asbestos Coordination;
Alan Ly – Senior Project Officer – Waste Strategy & Innovation; and
Hamish Campbell – Senior Operations Officer, Contaminated Land Management.

This is a free event and tickets are limited so register today. We look forward to seeing you on the night.


Membership Update

Following receipt of your valued feedback we have updated the Benefits List for Individual Members and provided more clarity around Business Memberships. In respect to Business Memberships two categories, Corporate and Non-Corporate Memberships, have been created for applicants to consider with corporate memberships broken down further to consultancy and non-consultancy business.

Corporate Membership

If you represent an asbestos and hazardous materials consultancy, we encourage you to consider a Business Membership (Consultancy Only).  If you represent an organisation outside of an asbestos and hazardous materials consultancy practice, then we encourage you to consider a Business Membership (Non-Consultancy). If you represent a Government Department, Not-for-Profit Organisation, Association or Charity, then we encourage you to consider a Non-Corporate Membership.

 The AHCA has decided that each business member will gain two free individual memberships subject to normal vetting processes. In addition, employee’s and consultants of business members will have their joining fee waived.

We encourage you all to join the AHCA today.


Congratulations to New Members

A huge congratulations to the following new members

Business Members (Consultancy)
EDP Consultants
EP Risk Management
OHMS Group
Progressive Risk Management
Property Risk Australia

Business Members (Non-Consultancy)
Allens Industrial Products
Envirolab Services

Full Individual Members
Cassandra Fernandez
Fraser Elder
Jason North
John Batty
Leroy (Lee) Brown
Mark Reggers
Nigel Johnson
Paul Paciullo
Peggy Trompf
Scott Bamford
Simon Butterfield
Stephanie Hall


Updated NSW Codes of Practice

SafeWork NSW has updated their Codes of Practice to align with the model Codes of Practice which had amendments of a technical and readability nature. The updated Codes are available on the SafeWork NSW website. A total of 23 Codes have been updated which include:

1.       How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace
2.       How to safety remove asbestos
3.       Demolition work
4.       How to manage work health and safety risks

Ensure you review these documents and communicate to your peers the updates.

SafeWork NSW – Asbestos Clearance Inspections

SafeWork NSW has recently sent a reminder to all licensed asbestos assessors and licensed asbestos removal contractors in relation to their obligations to ensure asbestos clearance inspections are carried out properly.

A brief summary of these obligations include, but not limited to:

  • Clearances to be undertaken by an independent competent person or an independent licensed asbestos assessor not involved in the asbestos removal works;
  • the assessor shall be satisfied that asbestos is not visible in the removal area or its immediate surrounds and clearly stating within the clearance;
  • The clearance shall be issued before the area is re-occupied or before any further demolition or refurbishment work takes place.

For more detail: refer to Section 3.10 of the recently released August 2019 How to Safely Remove Asbestos, Code of Practice along with clause 474 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

Blood Lead Levels

Amendments were made to the WHS Regulation on 1 July 2019. Some of these relate to blood lead levels, with a two-year transitional period to comply with the new requirements. Lead-related amendments involve:

  • changes to the definition of lead risk work
  • the frequency with which a PCBU must conduct biological monitoring of workers who carry out lead risk work
  • reduction in blood lead levels for the immediate removal of workers from carrying out lead risk work
  • thresholds at which a PCBU may allow a worker to return to lead risk work
  • these requirements are subject to a two year transitional period from 1 July 2019 to 1 July 2021 (Exemption 006/19, gazetted 28 June 2019):

The reduction in the lead in blood levels goes hand in hand with the reduction in the Workplace Exposure Standard in April 2018  from 0.15mg/m3 to 0.05mg/m3. These are significant reductions and should be taken seriously. In order to transition across to the new biological blood lead levels, there needs to strong focus on increasing the controls on the ground. This needs to backed up with exposure monitoring by measuring the airborne lead levels when conducting lead risk work.

The onus on the PCBU to protect workers health should be the number one focus.

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