A commercial property leased or rented to businesses (i.e. employers) is regarded as a workplace under Victoria’s health and safety laws.

If you are a commercial property owner who leases or rents, for example, a building or part of a building to a business or businesses, then you may have obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 to the extent of your management or control.

For example, a person who manages or controls a workplace must, so far as is reasonably practicable, eliminate the exposure of persons at the workplace to airborne asbestos fibres. If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate that exposure, they must reduce that exposure so far as is reasonably practicable.

If you engage a property manager, then the responsibility of managing asbestos may be delegated to the property manager. However, legal duties in relation to health and safety (including managing asbestos) cannot be delegated.

As a commercial property owner of premises leased or rented to a business, if you identify asbestos-containing material then you are responsible for managing the asbestos (including plant) that is under your management or control, so far as is reasonably practicable.This includes ensuring all asbestos and suspected asbestos is documented in your asbestos register.

If the asbestos is in good condition and left undisturbed, it is usually safer to leave it fixed or installed and review its condition over time provided it is unlikely that asbestos fibres will be released into the air and the risk to health is extremely low.The presence and location of identified asbestos must be clearly indicated, and if reasonably practicable, the indication is by labelling.

If the asbestos has deteriorated, been disturbed or if asbestos-contaminated dust is present the likelihood that airborne asbestos fibres will be released into the air is increased. If there is a risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres, you must control the risk by, for example, removing the asbestos. In circumstances where asbestos is removed you need to update your asbestos register.

Whenever asbestos is identified in a workplace that you manage or control, you have a duty to create an asbestos register and keep it updated with any change to the condition of asbestos, including if it is removed, enclosed or sealed. The register must also be reviewed and if necessary revised every five years to keep it current.

Lupin Systems provides the very latest in Asbestos Asbestos Register Technology. If you are looking to create and maintain a compliant asbestos register, give Lupin a call Kristy Titus on 0460 775 591.