Safe removal

If you decide to remove asbestos yourself, follow these steps to do so as safely as possible.

Steps to remove asbestos as safely as possible:

  1. Thoroughly wet down the material before you start by gently spraying the surfaces with water. Continue to do this regularly during the removal process. (You can use water, water mixed with detergent, or water mixed with a PVA solution of one part PVA to ten parts water).
  2. If the work area is outdoors, use water from a low-pressure garden hose (make sure all electrical hazards have been removed from the area first).
  3. If sheets are bolted in place, dampen them and cut the bolts whilst avoiding contact with the ACM.
  4. Remove the bolts or fixings carefully and place them in the asbestos-waste container.
  5. Unbolt or use bolt cutters to release gutters, drain pipes, ridge caps etc. whilst in contact with the ACM.
  6. Carefully lower any large pieces of ACM to the ground - do not drop or put in rubble chutes.
  7. Stack fibro asbestos-cement sheets carefully.
  8. Avoid breaking asbestos-cement products.
  9. Avoid crushing ACM debris on the ground.
  10. Place small pieces of asbestos debris in an asbestos-waste container.
  11. Double-wrap large pieces of ACM in plastic sheeting (minimum 200 micron thick) and seal all openings securely with duct tape.
  12. Ensure all wrapped or bagged asbestos-waste is appropriately labelled.

When the asbestos removal work has been completed, a final inspection of the site should be undertaken to make sure that it has been cleaned properly and there are no visible signs of asbestos dust or residues. Areas that should be inspected include:

  • the removal work area
  • the area(s) surrounding the removal work area
  • the route from the removal work area to the asbestos-waste storage area, bin or skip.
  • areas where there is any remaining asbestos material, to ensure it remains intact.

For further instructions on how to remove asbestos refer to the Code of Practice: How to Safely Remove Asbestos provided by SafeWork Australia.