QLD Asbestos rules amended

26 Feb 2021

Twenty Work Health and Safety (WHS) Codes of Practice have been updated in Queensland, and asbestos regulations have been changed.

These changes will take effect from 1 May 2021. 

Queensland's asbestos regulations have been amended to reclassify low density asbestos fibre board (LDB) as a friable-asbestos-containing material.

The new classification means LDB must only be removed by a class A licensed asbestos removalist, a State Government LDB webpage says.

Low density asbestos fibre board (LDB) is a lightly compressed board which looks similar to asbestos cement (AC) sheeting or plasterboard. It is different because it can be easily bent by hand or dented by soft pressure. It is also sometimes referred to as "asbestos insulating board".

Because it is softer than asbestos cement sheeting, LDB can break up easily when disturbed, which increases the likelihood of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

The QLD Government notes that under clauses of the State WHS Regulation requiring all workers involved in asbestos-related work to be properly trained, employers must ensure training for maintenance and service work on LDB covers: identifying LDB; donning and removing PPE; decontaminating personnel, equipment and the work environment; and safely transporting and disposing of asbestos waste.

LDB was manufactured from the 1950s to the 1970s as flat and perforated sheet products and was used for wall and ceiling panels, thermal and acoustic insulation, fire protection and for general building work in industrial and commercial buildings, education facilities and domestic premises. It was sold under product names such as ‘Asbestolux’ and ‘Duralux’ and is unlikely to be found in buildings constructed after 1982.

The QLD Government has a useful photo gallery, showing low density asbestos fibre board in-situ.

These changes will take effect from 1 May 2021. Information is being provided in advance so that employers and workers have an opportunity to get familiar with the new requirements and gain the skills and competencies required to work legally on low density asbestos fibre board.

For more information call Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).