How Plumbers Work Around Asbestos


To enclose or seal ACM, sheet, roofing, flues etc

To control the risk of generating airborne asbestos fibre

To control the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibre


Normal plumbing activities may require the enclosing or sealing of ACM.

If any removal of non-friable ACM is required greater than 10m2 in area or that will take longer than one hour a Class B asbestos removalist is required to carry out the task

A risk assessment must be carried out prior to the work being carried out.

No power tools can be used during the work on the ACM or compressed air or gases can be used within 6 metres unless the risk associated with there use is controlled. No dry sweeping is allowed in the work area.

High pressure water cleaning of asbestos surfaces is not allowed

Any areas to be painted cannot be dry sanded or wire brushed

Training in maintenance activities involving non-friable ACM is required.

Explanation to the occupier/employer/home owner needs to occur prior to the work commencing; the information in: Asbestos in the home, Department of Human Services, June 2003; could be used.

Equipment required for asbestos removal

P2 respiratory protection that complies with AS 1716 and is used in accordance with AS1715 and is appropriate for asbestos removal

Disposable coveralls


Appropriate hand tools for the task

Appropriate painting equipment

Labeled asbestos waste bags

200(m plastic sheet (would require labels if used to wrap ACM, warning label should read: caution asbestos, do not open or damage, do not inhale dust)

Duct tape

Hand water spray,

Wet wipes (wet rags or alcohol wipes)

For work in a workplace asbestos barrier tape and signs


Identification of ACM

Workplace: obtain record of results from occupier/employer to determine if ACM material to be sealed or enclosed or if inaccessible must be deemed to be ACM unless proven not to be ACM.

Domestic residence: determine age of appliance and conduct visual inspection to determine if potentially ACM.

Preparation for removal:

Restrict access to the work area to those involved in the ACM work; if necessary. If work is in a work place asbestos barrier tape and warning signs would be required

Gain access to ACM to be sealed or enclosed. The work may be carried out at height; if so the OH&S (Prevention of Falls) Regulations 2003 must be complied with.

Visual inspection of work area, any damage ACM or debris would need to be removed or repaired

Additional lighting may be required

Put in place all necessary equipment for removal

Hand tools required for task

Water spray

Wet wipes (wet rags or alcohol wipes)

Painting equipment

Plastic sheet


Enclosing or sealing of ACM

If potential for airborne fibre to be generated during task it is necessary to don PPE, disposable coveralls, gloves and P2 respiratory protection

Wet wipe all ACM to be sealed

Seal ACM taking care not damage

Decontaminate tools used and place all wet rags in waste bag

Any tools not able to be decontaminated must be disposed of as asbestos waste

Remove coveralls and gloves and place in waste bag if used

Seal bag by taping and goose necking

Place bagged ACM into second bag; remove respiratory protection if used and place in second bag tape and goose neck to seal

Double bagged ACM is transported to asbestos waste skip as soon as is practicable. To meet EPA requirements the amount of ACM and the source need to be logged.

At the end of the job there must be no visible debris left in the area and no visible airborne dust generated while carrying out the task.

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