If you are about to embark on or are in the process of removing asbestos in your home or business you are probably aware that the final stage of the process is obtaining a clearance certificate. But what you may not know is that the clearance stage cannot be undertaken by the same supplier that has completed the removal. You must choose a supplier independent of the removal process to undertake the clearance.
What does ‘independent’ mean?
“To be independent, the licensed asbestos assessor or competent person must be free from any conflict of interest when carrying out their assessor work. This is to make sure the process remains objective and the interests of the removalist or PCBU that commissioned them does not unduly influence the outcome”. (Section 23.3 of the Approved Code of Practice, “Management and Removal of Asbestos”
- They must not be involved in a business or undertaking involved in removing asbestos for that specific job.
- The licensed asbestos assessor or competent person should be alert to any attempts to exert an undue influence on them that may interfere with their ability to carry out their work independently and to an adequate standard.
Can a company act as the removalist and the assessor on the same project?
No, there is a conflict of interest where the assessor is an employee of the same company or business group that commissioned or conducts the removal. The requirement in the Asbestos Regulations is intended to ensure there is no potential for a conflict of interest that could cause bias and cause an unjust outcome of the inspection. It is a good idea to let the asbestos removal company know that you have chosen an asbestos assessor prior and pass on their contact details. This will open communication lines between the assessor and removalist.
In short, a company can either undertake the asbestos assessments (pre and post removal) OR they can undertake the removal. Not all three:
What questions should I ask my potential asbestos assessors?
- Are your assessors WorkSafe NZ licensed?
- What are their qualifications?
- Will you provide a written certificate at the completion of the process?
- Can you provide references?
For a current list of asbestos removal licence holders and asbestos assessors go to the WorkSafe NZ Licence Holder Register.
What you can expect from a competent asbestos assessor?
- Act with the highest regard for health and safety
- Act in accordance with the relevant regulations and guidelines
- Independent to the asbestos removalist and have no ties other than a professional working relationship
- Have the client’s interest at heart
Let us help you
If you wish to carry out asbestos removal within your property and are unsure of your responsibilities and the way forward, or you would simply like further clarification on clearance procedures and appointment of asbestos assessors, please get in touch.