The duties that apply for employers in relation to managing asbestos depend on the extent of their management or control over the workplace. For example, if you lease or rent your premises, you should check your leasing agreement to establish to what extent you may have management or control.
Regardless of the extent of management or control, employers have legal duties in relation to managing asbestos, such as a duty to under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 in relation to managing and removing asbestos in their workplace.
Find and identify
You have a duty to identify asbestos, (including inaccessible areas) so far as is reasonably practicable, in a workplace that is under your management or control, so it is important to establish to what extent you have management or control over your workplace. If you review your leasing agreement and determine that you have management or control over your workplace, see the information for .
If another person has management or control of your workplace, they have a duty to identify any asbestos that is present and provide the asbestos register to you.
The person with management or control of your workplace has duties associated with managing asbestos, including ensuring the presence and location of the asbestos is clearly indicated, making the asbestos register available to certain persons and controlling risks associated with the asbestos.
As an employer without management or control of your workplace, there are a number of steps you must take in relation to asbestos, including controlling associated risks, providing employees with the necessary information, instruction and training to perform their work safely, consulting with employees on matters related to health or safety and notifying anyone contracted to work at the workplace of the presence of asbestos.
You must also notify your building manager or owner if any of your business activities will create a risk because of the asbestos in the workplace.
Remove and dispose
While the removal of a limited amount of non-friable asbestos or asbestos-contaminated dust without a licence is permitted in certain circumstances, asbestos removal work is dangerous, and should be performed by a licensed asbestos removalist.
If you don't own your premises, your building manager or owner is responsible for ensuring the safe removal of asbestos over which they have management or control. However, you are still responsible for ensuring your employees are not exposed to airborne asbestos fibres.
Reviewed 28 October 2019