Asbestos was a primary building material used extensively in the building industry because it was considered inexpensive and durable. In the 1990s asbestos was banned from use in South Australia, however it is likely that many homes and buildings in South Australia still may contain traces of asbestos material.
There are two types of asbestos:
- friable (non-bonded) asbestos products contains loosely packed asbestos fibres that can be crushed easily in the hand. Friable asbestos materials are potentially dangerous because these fibres can be easily released into the air.
- non-friable (bonded) asbestos products are usually bonded with cement or a similar material. The asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the product and are not normally released into the air unless they are disturbed, damaged or badly weathered. If non-friable asbestos products are in good condition and are left undisturbed they present no known health risks. Non-friable asbestos products that are damaged or badly weathered may become friable.
Asbestos.sa.gov.au provides advice for South Australians concerned about asbestos in their houses or workplaces. Check out the website to gain awareness and information on identifying asbestos, what to do with it, how to remove it and where to put it for residential settings and workplaces.
Free printed copies of asbestos publications can be ordered from our Customer Service Centre.
Licence requirements for removing asbestos
A licence is required to remove asbestos. There are two types of asbestos removal licences: Class A and Class B. The type of licence required depends on the form and quantity of asbestos or ACM that is being removed at a workplace.
- Friable asbestos materials must be removed by a Class A asbestos removal licence holder.
- Class B licence holders can remove any amount of non-friable asbestos.
Refer to pages 6-7 of the Code of Practice: How to safely remove asbestos for more information and examples of the licence requirements for different types of asbestos removal work.
Online notifications portal
Holders of a current Class A or Class B asbestos removal licence must notify SafeWork SA of asbestos removal work using the Asbestos online portal.
Notifications are required 5 working days prior to commencement of asbestos removal.
To use the online portal, licence holders must have a valid username and password. Please phone the SafeWork SA Licensing Unit on (08) 8303 0400 for further information.