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Asbestos

The term asbestos refers to six naturally occurring fibrous minerals found in the veins of certain types of rocks. The six forms are chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, fibrous anthophyllite, fibrous tremolite, and fibrous actinolite. The most commonly used forms were chrysotile, amosite, and crocidolite. These are commonly known respectively as white, brown, and blue asbestos. Asbestos fibres are incredibly durable, fire resistant and resistant to most chemical attacks. These properties are the reasons that asbestos was commonly used in building materials.

Chrysotile asbestos is found within serpentine rocks and is made up of tiny needle-like fibres. This is the most commonly used form of asbestos due to its high tensile strength and heat resistance. Chrysotile can also be spun into thread and woven into cloth.

The other five types of asbestos are found in amphibole rocks and are made up of softer, curlier fibres. They are also heat resistant but have a lower tensile strength and are unable to be spun or woven.

Hazard Management offers three main types of asbestos survey: refurbishment, demolition, and management.

Refurbishment Surveys
Refurbishment surveys take place when repairs or refurbishments are to be undertaken on any property. We will liaise with the project manager and/or builders to fully understand everything that the work entails. During the survey, we check building materials in all areas that will be affected by the works and take samples of any material that may contain asbestos. We will only sample areas that will be affected by the project works and will make our marks as discreetly as possible. Once the refurbishment survey is complete, we will formulate a report and provide it with a live asbestos register.

Demolition Surveys

Demolition surveys are undertaken before a building is demolished. This is an intrusive audit as we must reach all areas of the property to ensure that no asbestos remains unfound. Samples will be taken from all materials that potentially contain asbestos. Demolition survey cannot be done in occupied buildings. Once the demolition survey is complete we will formulate a report and provide it with a live asbestos register.

Management Surveys
A management surveys will be undertaken to identify which areas and what materials may contain asbestos. For a management audit, it is common that owners/occupiers of the building do not want to cause damage to the walls, floors or ceilings of the property. Therefore, we visually assess any areas we believe will contain asbestos, report on its immediate condition and complete our report including a live asbestos register. If requested at the time, samples will be taken to verify that asbestos does exist in a given area.

The purpose of the asbestos register is that at a future time when renovations, repairs or alterations are required to be done to a building, the asbestos register can be used to identify hazardous areas so that steps can be taken to ensure the appropriate safety measures are in place prior to works beginning. The regulations that came into effect in April 2018 state that every workplace in New Zealand that contains asbestos must have a management plan.