Asbestos Key Terms

Airborne asbestos means any fibres of asbestos small enough to be made airborne. For the purposes of monitoring airborne asbestos fibres, only respirable fibres are counted.

Asbestos means the asbestiform varieties of mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine or amphibole groups of rock forming minerals, including actinolite asbestos, grunerite (or amosite) asbestos (brown), anthophyllite asbestos, chrysotile asbestos (white), crocidolite asbestos (blue) and tremolite asbestos or a mixture of any of these.

Asbestos containing material (ACM) means any material or thing that, as part of its design, contains asbestos.

Asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD) means dust or debris that has settled within a workplace and is (or is assumed to be) contaminated with asbestos.

Asbestos-related work means work involving asbestos (other than asbestos removal work to which Part 8.7 of the WHS Regulations applies) that is permitted under the exceptions set out in regulation 419(3), (4) and (5).

Asbestos removalist means a person conducting a business or undertaking who carries out asbestos removal work.

Asbestos removal work means: „

  • work involving the removal of asbestos or ACM „
  • Class A asbestos removal work or Class B asbestos removal work as outlined in Part 8.10 of the WHS Regulations.

Competent person in relation to carrying out clearance inspections under regulation 473 means a person who has acquired through training or experience the knowledge and skills of relevant asbestos removal industry practice and holds a certification in relation to the specified VET course for asbestos assessor work or a tertiary qualification in occupational health and safety, occupational hygiene, science, building, construction or environmental health. For all other purposes, competent person means a person who has acquired through training, qualification or experience, the knowledge and skills to carry out the task.

Exposure standard for asbestos is a respirable fibre level of 0.1 fibres/ml of air measured in a person’s breathing zone and expressed as a time weighted average fibre concentration calculated over an eight-hour working day and measured over a minimum period of four hours in accordance with: „

  • the Membrane Filter Method „
  • a method determined by the relevant regulator.

Friable asbestos means material that is in a powder form or that can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry, and contains asbestos.

GHS means Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. Licensed asbestos assessor means a person who holds an asbestos assessor licence.

Licensed asbestos removalist means a person conducting a business or undertaking who is licensed under the WHS Regulations to carry out class A or class B asbestos removal work.

Naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) means the natural geological occurrence of asbestos minerals found in association with geological deposits including rock, sediment or soil.

Non-friable asbestos means material containing asbestos that is not friable asbestos, including material containing asbestos fibres reinforced with a bonding compound.

Respirable asbestos means an asbestos fibre that: „

  • is less than 3 micronmetres (µm) wide „
  • more than 5 micronmetres (µm) long „
  • has a length to width ratio of more than 3:1.