Guide for Companies and Private Homeowners
Welcome to our in-depth guide on the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020. At Home Inspection Services South Africa, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional property inspection services, adhering to the highest standards of safety and regulatory compliance. As a leader in the industry, our team is spearheaded by a Certified Master Inspector, supported by a cadre of Certified Professional Inspectors. This blend of expertise and dedication positions us uniquely to offer comprehensive insights and services in asbestos inventories and abatement. Our understanding of the Asbestos Abatement Regulations is backed by extensive experience and a thorough grasp of South Africa’s property inspection landscape. Allow us to guide you through these regulations with the assurance of safety and compliance at the forefront.
the latest legislation
The latest legislation in South Africa for asbestos is the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020, which came into effect on November 10, 2020, repealing the previous Asbestos Regulations of 2001. However, it’s important to note that specific parts of these regulations, namely regulations 3 and 20, came into operation 18 months after the publication date. The regulations aim to prevent or minimize exposure to asbestos, which is a known carcinogen, and to promote the safe removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials.
The regulations apply to every employer or self-employed person who has workers that may be exposed to asbestos-containing materials. An important point to note is that these regulations do not apply to premises constructed after March 2011.
Requirements for Companies that Own Properties:
Companies that own properties that contain asbestos have certain responsibilities under the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020. These include:
- Identifying asbestos-containing materials (ACMs): Companies must identify all ACMs in their properties. This can be done by conducting an asbestos survey.
- Preparing an asbestos management plan (AMP): Companies must prepare an AMP for each property that contains ACMs. The AMP must outline how the ACMs will be managed, including procedures for maintenance, repair, and removal. The regulations mandate having an Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) for managing asbestos-containing materials in the workplace, although they do not specify a deadline for the removal of these materials.
- Notification of asbestos work: Companies must notify the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) before any asbestos work is carried out.
- Appointing a registered asbestos contractor: Companies must appoint a registered asbestos contractor to carry out any asbestos work.
- Ensuring that asbestos waste is disposed of safely: Companies must ensure that all asbestos waste is disposed of in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
Companies that fail to comply with the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020 may face fines of up to R1 million or imprisonment for up to two years:
In addition to the legal requirements, companies should also be aware of the potential health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and can cause a number of serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Recommendations for Companies that Own Properties Companies that own properties should take the following steps to ensure compliance with the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020 and to protect the health of their employees, tenants, and visitors:
- Conduct an asbestos survey: If you are unsure whether your property contains ACMs, you should conduct an asbestos survey.
- Prepare an asbestos management plan: Once you have identified any ACMs in your property, you should prepare an AMP.
- Maintain your asbestos management plan: Your AMP should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect any changes to your property or the way it is used.
- Train your employees: Your employees should be trained on how to identify and safely handle ACMs.
- Provide personal protective equipment (PPE): You should provide your employees with the appropriate PPE when they are working with ACMs.
- Dispose of asbestos waste safely: You should ensure that all asbestos waste is disposed of in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
By taking these steps, companies can help to protect the health of their employees, tenants, and visitors and avoid costly legal penalties. The Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020, apply to both businesses and private homeowners. However, the specific requirements for private homeowners are less stringent than those for businesses.
Requirements for private home owners:
Private homeowners with properties that contain asbestos have the following responsibilities:
- Identification of ACMs: Private homeowners are not required to conduct a formal asbestos survey. However, they are encouraged to be aware of the potential for asbestos in their homes and to take steps to identify any ACMs.
- Inventory of asbestos in place: If a private homeowner does identify ACMs in their home, they are required to compile an inventory of the asbestos in place. The inventory should include the location, type, and condition of the ACMs.
- Maintenance and repair: Private homeowners are responsible for maintaining and repairing ACMs in their homes to minimize the risk of exposure. This includes keeping ACMs in good condition, sealing any cracks or gaps, and preventing damage to ACMs.
- Notification of asbestos work: If a private homeowner is planning to carry out any asbestos work, they are required to notify the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL). However, this does not apply to routine maintenance or repair work.
- Asbestos work: If a private homeowner is planning to remove asbestos from their home, they must appoint a registered asbestos contractor to carry out the work.
- Disposal of asbestos waste: Private homeowners are responsible for ensuring that asbestos waste is disposed of safely. This means that the waste must be transported and disposed of by a registered asbestos contractor.
Private homeowners who fail to comply with the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020 may face fines of up to R50,000 or imprisonment for up to one year:
Private homeowners can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from asbestos exposure:
- Be aware of the potential for asbestos in homes built before 1993. Asbestos was commonly used in building materials during this period.
- Look for signs of asbestos, such as textured ceilings, asbestos cement roofing, and loose floor tiles.
- Avoid disturbing ACMs. If you think you may have asbestos in your home, do not try to remove it yourself. Contact a registered asbestos contractor.
- Keep ACMs in good condition. Regularly inspect ACMs for damage and make repairs as needed.
- Ventilate your home whenever you are working near ACMs.
- Wear protective clothing when working near ACMs, such as gloves, a mask, and goggles.
By following these tips, private homeowners can help to protect their health and the health of their families from asbestos exposure.
The Role of Home Inspection Services South Africa
As a leader in property inspection services, Home Inspection Services South Africa is aligned with a Type 3 Asbestos Contractor, fully compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and the Abridged Asbestos Abatement Regulation 1196 of 2020. Our team of inspectors are ‘Competent Persons’ capable of conducting asbestos inventories and providing consulting and guidance.
How We Can Help:
- Asbestos Inventories: Our expert team conducts thorough asbestos surveys, ensuring that your property complies with current regulations.
- Consulting and Guidance: We provide comprehensive consulting services to navigate the complexities of asbestos management, helping you develop and maintain your AMP.
- Training and Compliance: Our services extend to training your staff in identifying and safely handling ACMs, and guiding you through the compliance process.
Understanding and complying with the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020, is crucial for the safety of all. Home Inspection Services South Africa is here to assist you in this important task, ensuring a safer environment for businesses and homes alike.
For further assistance and information, visit www.homeinspection.co.za or contact us directly.
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