Drilling into non-friable asbestos using a thickened substance to control airborne fibres and dust
This safe work procedure describes the safe work procedure for drilling holes into non-friable (bonded) asbestos-containing material (ACM) such as fibro, hardiplank, compressed sheeting and tilux using a thickened substance (such as shaving foam) to control airborne fibres and dust.
A range of equipment should be used to control the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres, including:
200 μm plastic drop sheets
rolls of duct or gaffer tape
plastic bags 1200 x 900 mm (200 μm) with a warning label (e.g. CAUTION: Asbestos, Do no damage or open bag. Do not inhale dust.)
barricading or hazard tape
bucket three-quarters full of water
atomiser bottle with water
access to a continuous supply of water
cordless drill or hand drill
drill bits suitable for the task
clear disposable cups
thickened substance eg. shaving cream or hair gel
rags or disposable wipes
PVA glue (or other sealant) and a small paint brush
access to a first aid kit
safety lace less work boots
Some of the required equipment.
Safe work procedures
Follow the steps depicted below and view the example videos.
1. Place duct tape over intended drilling point. Mark the proposed hole for drilling on the duct tape.
2. Apply shaving cream around the proposed drilling point, creating a circle of shaving foam around the area to be drilled. This will help capture any loose dust and debris.
3. Pre-drill a transparent plastic cup (or polystyrene cup) with the same drill that will be used on the ACM and fit onto the drill bit. Place the drill bit through the cup, with the bit towards the top of the cup and extending beyond the cup (drill with hand drill or low-speed battery powered drill).
4. Fill the cup with shaving foam until slightly overflowing.
5. While holding the drill and the cup, place the point of the drill bit on the marked drilling point. Slide the cup with the shaving foam down the drill bit and proceed to drill the hole at low speed.
6. After the hole is drilled, remove the plastic cup and dispose of it in an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick. The asbestos residue will be captured in the shaving cream around the drilled hole.
7. Wet wipe the shaving foam once over.
8. Remove the wipe from the wall.
9. Fold the wipe in half and wipe the wall down again. Folding the wipe again and re-wiping the foam and residue again leaving a clean surface, and dispose of the wipe in a approved plastic asbestos waste bag.
10. Using a new wipe, wet wipe the drill bit to decontaminate it. Dispose of the wipe in an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick.
11. Decontaminate the cordless drill using a clean wet wipe. Dispose of the wipe in an approved plastic asbestos waste bag.
12. Decontaminate any other tools used in the drilling process using another clean wet wipe. Dispose of the wipe in an approved plastic asbestos waste bag.
13. Use PVA glue, paint or similar to seal the edges of the drilled hole. If a cable is to be passed through the hole, insert a sleeve to protect the inner edge of the hole from fraying when feeding in the cable.