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It’s official – asbestos has been outlawed

by Ofentse Sefolo
It’s official – asbestos has been outlawed

It has been a long time coming, but in November 2020 asbestos finally became outlawed; and not much time is left to rid the country of all asbestos.

According to asbestos contractor, Indawo, the spotlight is firmly on plans of how to rid South Africa of all asbestos on all buildings including homes, schools, factories, warehouses, offices, retail centres, residential complexes and all industrial buildings.

Indawo’s managing director, Geoffrey Jäck, says the removal of asbestos is strictly regulated by the Asbestos Abatement Regulations 2020. It will be closely monitored by the Department of Employment and Labour in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993, also known as the OHS Act).

Depending on the quantity of asbestos and its condition, home and building owners must commission the services of an approved and registered asbestos contractor (RAC) to work with or remove asbestos. Three types of asbestos work (Type 1, 2 and 3) have been identified and each carries its own specific requirements, which have been outlined in detail in the Asbestos Abatement Regulations 2020, including the use of only registered asbestos contractors.

Building owners have been given 18 months from November 2020 to:
1. Identify asbestos on their buildings by employing a competent person with knowledge of asbestos.
2. Do a risk assessment to assess the dangers should the asbestos be damaged, which will run the risk of asbestos fibres being released into the air.
3. Provide a written inventory of asbestos on the building (to the approved inspection authority and a registered asbestos contractor).
4. Draft an asbestos management plan which must include a proposed plan to remove damaged asbestos, using the services of a registered asbestos contractor.
5. The building owner also has to appoint, in writing, an approved inspection authority and a registered asbestos contractor.
6. The Chief Director: Department of Employment and Labour must be notified, and written approval must be obtained before the commencement of any asbestos work, whether it is type 1, type 2 or type 3 of asbestos work.

The Asbestos Abatement Regulations 2020 applies to all building owners. They have been given 18 months from November 2020 to identify asbestos, and draft an inventory and management plan to have it removed by a registered asbestos contractor.

For more information on the Asbestos Abatement Regulations 2020, contact Indawo:
Tel: +27 21 941 5000
Email: info@indawo.biz

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