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What do health and safety professionals need to know about asbestos?

Occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals are likely to be involved in asbestos management, depending on the industry they work in.

They may be required to help implement or support with the maintenance of an asbestos management system. Those in construction may manage the potential risks of asbestos due to working on buildings that are old enough to contain asbestos. Some OSH professionals may have to liaise with external bodies to ensure that removal of asbestos has been designed into building works, work with asbestos removal contractors, or support with asbestos management plans. 

OSH professionals may also be required to: 

  • consult with workers on a regular basis if they work in or around buildings that may contain asbestos
  • provide support to the organisation on asbestos risk assessment
  • support with the implementation or maintenance of the asbestos management plan
  • ensure buildings have been assessed by competent asbestos consultants and communicate the information to the organisation
  • source and provide suitable and tailored training on asbestos awareness or more in-depth training, if required
  • investigate incidents of exposures
  • support with health monitoring and surveillance requirements
  • support with evaluation and instate any learning lessons to prevent future asbestos incidents or exposures.