DMIRS National Asbestos Plan – what’s it mean for you? Back

​Asbestos is a fibrous, naturally occurring mineral that was once used extensively due to being lightweight and resistant to high temperatures, electricity, and chemical corrosion.

It was regularly used in building and construction materials, machinery, plumbing and electrical materials, plant and other equipment. However, when asbestos is broken or disturbed, its small fibres can become airborne where they are easily inhaled and swallowed. Once in the body, these fibres can irritate organ tissue and cause insidious diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

We recently published an article detailing how local governments can ensure their duty of care is compliant under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA) – and how LGIS can help ensure your local government is equipped to comply.

What's new?
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) recently announced the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management – a long term framework aimed at ensuring a nationally consistent approach to asbestos awareness, management, and removal.

This plan aims to ensure government departments, agencies, local government, and government enterprises identify and assess the risks associated with asbestos containing materials (ACM) within government-controlled buildings, land, and infrastructure.

To do this, local governments will need to complete the DMIRS report template before 21 January 2022 regarding the following areas:

  • General knowledge of asbestos risk
  • Identification and risk assessment of asbestos containing materials (ACM) within all local government properties and assets
  • The process for communicating asbestos risk both internally and externally
  • The process for the management of ACM – is there an ACM register in place that is regularly updated?
  • How asbestos awareness training for workers, contractors, tenants, etc. occurs
  • How ACM removal works are conducted and are specialists engaged
  • Are any investigations conducted and infringements issued for improper ACM handling
  • Records of illegal dumping

LGIS can assist you with your overall asbestos management and meeting your responsibilities with the above plan. This assistance can be through the regional risk coordinator program or through the LGIS Safety program.