Recent changes to the law amended the requirement for all commercial premises built before 31 December 2003 that are used as a workplace to maintain an asbestos register. The requirement to keep an asbestos register now only applies to premises built before 31 December 1989.
Commercial premises used as a workplace must comply with the workplace legislation regarding asbestos. The owner or person who has management or control of the workplace is required to appoint a qualified asbestos assessor to audit the premises for asbestos or asbestos containing material.
If the workplace contains asbestos materials, then the owner must maintain an asbestos register that records any asbestos materials on the premises, its location and the date which it was identified. Even if no asbestos is identified, an asbestos register must still be maintained which states that no asbestos material is present.
The register must be updated and accessible to the people working or conducting a business at the workplace as well as health and safety representatives. It must also be reviewed every 5 years or earlier if asbestos material is removed, disturbed, sealed or enclosed or if further material is identified.
Commercial workplaces don’t need to maintain an asbestos register if the premises were constructed after 31 December 1989, no asbestos has been identified and it’s unlikely to be present at the workplace.