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Asbestos Identification

Asbestos is a fibrous form of naturally occurring silicate mineral. Asbestos can present a serious health risk to employee’s occupants and even members of the public. IOH Solutions conducts surveys in order to identify and locate asbestos.

The use of asbestos has been banned in South Africa due to the high incidence of occupational disease resulting from the inhalation of fibres. Very strict procedures have been laid down in the Asbestos regulations regarding the handling of asbestos and asbestos-containing material An asbestos risk assessment needs to be performed to determine the risk associated with exposures. One an assessment has been made and risks are calculated the employer must introduce a formal measurement program to establish the airborne concentration of asbestos in a particular workplace when there is a possibility that workers could be exposed to airborne asbestos in excess of half the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) – 0.2/2 = 0,1 regulated fibre per millilitre. Representative Samples must be taken on an annual basis.

Compliance Requirements:

  • Occupational Health, and Safety Act, Act No. 85 of 1993 (in accordance with the Asbestos Regulations)

Sampling Methodology:

  • MDHS 39/4: Asbestos fibres in air Sampling and evaluation by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)
    under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations
  • HSG 248 Asbestos: The Analysts’ Guide for Sampling, Analysis and Clearance Procedures
  • HSG 173 (Monitoring strategies for toxic substances), NIOSH NMAM

Legal references: 

    • Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act No 85 of 1993
    • MDHS 39/4: Asbestos fibres in air Sampling and evaluation by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations
    • HSG 248 Asbestos: The Analysts’ Guide for Sampling, Analysis and Clearance Procedures
    • HSG 173 (Monitoring strategies for toxic substances)
    • NIOSH NMAM

Asbestos Identification for Asbestos Inventory:

If any Asbestos that forms part of the structure of a workplace, building plant or premises The employer must take reasonable steps to determine the location of asbestos in the workplace, buildings, plant or premises for the purposes of managing the potential risk associated with such materials.

An inventory of the asbestos must be made, ideally with the help of health and safety representatives, or at least made available to the health and safety representatives for comment. The condition of the material and the risk associated with it must be assessed and a management plan developed. Any employee likely to be exposed must be fully informed of the risk, procedures and work practices necessary to prevent exposure.

Work Plan Development and Notifications to DoL.

If you as an employer would like to remove asbestos-containing material from your premises the following procedures need to be pursued:

The regulation entitled demolition deals with work with asbestos under specialized circumstances.
The legislator cannot provide for such non-routine situations and therefore the employer must provide his own procedures.

Asbestos plan of work must be submitted to an (Approved Inspection Authority) AIA for approval. The plan of work becomes an independent document and supplements specific requirements of the Asbestos Regulations. These plans of work may adopt different exposure limits, monitoring procedures, methods of control and any other aspect which the AIA decides is appropriate for the carrying out of the particular ‘demolition work’ that is approved by the AIA. The procedures contained in the plan of work approved by the AIA are legally enforceable. All plans of work need to be submitted to an AIA 30 days prior to the commencement of work. Once the AIA has signed the plan of work, a copy of the plan needs to be submitted to the provincial director 14 days prior to the commencement of work.

Only registered asbestos contractors may carry out demolition work. Only approved companies may dispose of asbestos in the correct manner.