DIY asbestos removal is not recommended and in some states is not legal. In the ACT, all asbestos removal work must be carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist.
In all other states and territories, a non-licensed person is allowed to remove non-friable asbestos as long as the area is no bigger than 10m².
In this section, we have provided important information to help reduce the risk of exposing yourself or others to asbestos fibres, if you do decide to remove 10m² or less of non-friable asbestos.
Important things to remember:
- A non-licensed person undertaking non-friable asbestos removal work must be considered to be a competent person. This means that the person must have completed training, have industry experience and have the right equipment for the task.
- Just because a non-licensed person is allowed to carry out work at this scale, it can still be dangerous to human health.
- As a guide, 10m² is the size of one wall of an average sized bathroom (or four sheets of asbestos cement wall sheeting). Asbestos removal tasks usually involve larger areas, so in most cases a licensed asbestos removalist will be required.
- Most of the common insurance policies will not take responsibility for any work relating to asbestos. It is important to be aware of this and remember that as a DIY renovator or non-licensed removalist, you could be liable to pay very expensive clean-up costs.
Before you begin
If you are a DIY home renovator thinking about removing non-friable asbestos yourself, you should decide if you have the right skills, experience and equipment to make sure that the risk of asbestos exposure is as low as possible.
Under all rules and regulations, the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres must be minimized at all times.
It is also highly recommended that you also read and follow the instructions contained in the following:
- The Model Code of Practice: How to safely remove asbestos (published by Safe Work Australia)
- The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 (if you are a worker, duty holder or person carrying out demolition or refurbishment work)