Frequently asked questions

This page answers general awareness questions related to asbestos. Specialist FAQs are covered on other pages.

The asbestos regulations that came into force on 4 April 2016 cover businesses and workers removing asbestos. It includes a licensing system and training requirements. Home-owners need to be aware of these regulations, particularly if they are going to have work carried out on their home and their home may include asbestos. Advice on asbestos for homeowners is available on the AsbestosAware website(external link).

WorkSafe has released a comprehensive guide (Approved Code of Practice), fact sheets and specialist guidance on all aspects of the asbestos regulations. This information can be found on the WorkSafe webpages on asbestos.

If you suspect the material is asbestos but don’t know, you should get a sample tested. If a lab is taking a sample you can ask them for an opinion on the friability of the material.

Friable means asbestos in a powder form or able to be crumbled, pulverised, or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry.

Non-friable means asbestos that is not in a powder form or cannot be crumbled. pulverised, or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry. For example, an asbestos cement sheet in good condition.

The cleaning of roofs with asbestos in them will still be allowed under the regulations.

This work is mainly done in the soil contamination space, and the product is to stabilise the contamination before a removal process.

The work is classified as “work involving soil contaminated with asbestos” and is covered by the Asbestos Regulations 2016.

The company needs to have a competent person determine that the work of applying the encapsulation product was not going to increase the asbestos fibre count above trace levels.

If the work isn’t going to increase the trace levels then the company applying the product does not need a licence as they are not removing asbestos or increasing the trace levels of fibre.

Asbestos containing waste needs to be disposed of at the appropriate landfill that is approved for the purpose by a Territorial Authority. To find out where these are, please contact your local council.