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Asbestos in body corporate common areas

The body corporate (owners or their representatives) makes decisions on matters with shared responsibility including maintenance and management of common property in their building structure.

They coordinate the engagement of tradespeople for the maintenance of common areas, such as plumbers and builders. Therefore it is important that information about any known asbestos materials in common areas is passed onto these tradespeople before they commence work.

If the body corporate is a PCBU they will have duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 883 kB) in relation to the safe management and removal of asbestos. Where commercial/mixed common areas were built before 1990 these duties may also include:

  • the preparation, maintenance and review of an asbestos register and asbestos management plan
  • ensuring (where applicable) that the asbestos register and asbestos management plan are readily accessible to any worker or contractor who has carried out, carries out or intends to carry out, work at the workplace
  • ensuring the safe management, removal, transport and disposal of asbestos.

If the body corporate is not a PCBU then duties under the Public Health Act 2005 in relation to asbestos will apply. These duties relate to the:

  • removal of friable or bonded asbestos containing material (ACM)
  • taking reasonable measures to minimise the release of asbestos fibres
  • cleaning or cutting ACM (prohibiting the use of power tools, high pressure water cleaners and compressed air cleaning)
  • sealing bonded ACM if broken
  • packaging and disposal of associated asbestos waste.

The body corporate should also ensure that any asbestos removalist engaged holds a current asbestos removal licence suitable for the type of asbestos being removed. Find out which businesses are licensed to remove asbestos in Queensland.

Find out more about body corporate and community management.