Emergency Asbestos Removal

When: Jan 2020

Location: Thomastown, Victoria

Client: PGH Bricks

Job value: $12k

The Brief:
A spring windstorm resulted in substantial damage to an asbestos roof at a brick manufacturing facility in Thomastown, Victoria. Upon notification, we promptly advised the client to evacuate all personnel from the affected area and barricade immediately. At which point a comprehensive clean-up operation was carried out over a period of two days.

The Challenges:
Given the location, the shutdown of the worksite resulted in a significant disruption to our client’s production. To minimize this disruption, we needed to perform the asbestos removal efficiently and secure approval from an independent hygienist to permit our client to resume production without delay.

What goes into an emergency asbestos clean-up? Read more below.


Shut down the worksite ASAP

Shutting down a worksite immediately after fallen asbestos is important because asbestos is at its most dangerous when disturbed and the fibres become airborne. By shutting down the worksite, it allows the asbestos to be removed safely by our trained professionals and prevents exposure to workers and other individuals in the area.

It also lessens the risk of asbestos fibres being spread to other locations via peoples clothing or boots, which can cause contamination in other areas.

Safety is our number one priority

When cleaning asbestos, several rules apply to ensure the safety of those involved in the removal process. Some of the key safety rules include:

  • We only allow GMA staff members with the relevant qualifications on site.
  • The area where asbestos is being removed is sealed off to ensure control of the area and to avoid further contamination.
  • Personal protective equipment including a disposable hazmat suit, respirators, gloves, and glasses are always worn when on site.
  • Where possible, the asbestos should be wetted before removal to prevent fibres from becoming airborne.
  • All asbestos waste should be double-bagged and properly labelled for disposal.
  • An independent hygiene consultant is responsible for testing the site and air quality before we hand the location back to our client.

Vacuums with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters as well as wet rags can be used when clearing asbestos. These tools are helpful to capture and contain asbestos fibres during the removal process. It is also important to note that all equipment and tools used during the asbestos removal process must be thoroughly cleaned or disposed of in waste bags safely to ensure no asbestos fibres leave the site.

Role of a Hygienist

The role of an independent hygienist in asbestos removal is to ensure the safety and health of those involved in the removal process and the surrounding environment by evaluating the potential hazards and risks associated with asbestos exposure, as well as providing guidance on safe removal procedures, monitoring and clearance inspections, developing a site-specific health and safety plan, providing training and education, and signing off the site when it is safe to reoccupy.

They will conduct air monitoring and clearance inspections before, during and after the removal process, to ensure that the area is free of asbestos fibres and safe for reoccupation. Having an independent hygienist involved in the asbestos removal process is essential to ensure that the site is safe for reoccupation and the removal process is done according to the regulations.

We were able to clean up the asbestos waste and have the site cleared by an independent hygienist within 48 hours, allowing our client to get back to manufacturing as quickly as possible.