Asbestos Air Monitoring
Asbestos air monitoring involves sampling airborne asbestos fibres to assist in assessing exposure to asbestos and evaluate the effectiveness of implemented control measures. Asbestos air monitoring must be conducted in accordance with the Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Dust, 2nd Edition [NOHSC: 3003 (2005)].
When is Asbestos Air Monitoring Required?
- Friable asbestos removal – asbestos air monitoring is mandatory for all friable asbestos removal work (background monitoring before removal, control monitoring during removal, clearance air monitoring prior to dismantling an enclosure and final clearance monitoring before re-occupancy of the area
- Non-friable asbestos removal (>10sqm) – asbestos air monitoring is not mandatory but may be considered to be carried out if the removal work site is undertaken in or next to a public location, or if determined by a risk assessment
- Exposure asbestos air monitoring – this is usually done within the breathing zone of the worker to determine to measure the exposure to airborne asbestos fibre and evaluate if existing control measures such as respiratory protection are adequate
- It is not clear whether new or existing control measures are effective
- There is evidence the control measures have deteriorated as a result of poor maintenance
- Modifications or changes in safe work methods have occurred that may adversely affect worker exposure
- An uncontrolled disturbance of asbestos at the workplace has occurred.
Who Can Do the Asbestos Air Monitoring?
Friable asbestos – a person who commissions asbestos removal work that requires a Class A licence (friable asbestos) must ensure that an independent licensed asbestos assessor undertakes asbestos air monitoring of the asbestos removal area at the workplace
Non-friable asbestos removal (more than 10 sqm) – an independent licensed asbestos assessor or competent person must be engaged to carry out asbestos air monitoring when it is required
Other situations – where asbestos air monitoring is required in any other case (eg. to determine whether the exposure standard has been exceeded following an uncontrolled disturbance or release of asbestos at the workplace), an independent licensed asbestos assessor or competent person may carry it out if the materials disturbed is non-friable. If the release involves friable asbestos, only an independent licensed asbestos assessor can carry out the air monitoring.
How Long is the Asbestos Air Monitoring Session?
Background asbestos air monitoring – the duration of the session may vary. However, a minimum of 400 litres of air volume must be collected per sample. Usually, the duration should not be less than 4 hours
Asbestos control air monitoring – must start before the removal work start and stop after the asbestos removal work finishes
Clearance asbestos air monitoring – the duration of the session may vary. However, a minimum of 400 litres of air volume must be collected per sample. Usually, the duration is around 2 hours
Asbestos exposure air monitoring – must be done within the breathing zone of the worker and for the entire or not less than 60% of the shift duration. A minimum of 400 litres of air volume must be collected per sample.
Contact our office for all your requirements for asbestos air monitoring.