Our job is to develop a whole of government understanding of the location and condition of asbestos in government owned buildings, to develop a schedule for asbestos removal that prioritises asbestos removal based on its risk and to report to government on the progress of asbestos removal from government-owned buildings.
We are due to report to the Victorian government in December 2018. Our recommendations will be evidence-based, build upon the experiences of industry experts and other asbestos removal programs, and address current and future risks posed by ageing asbestos.
To achieve this we have developed an innovative, three-tier approach that requires us to:
Compile an aggregated and standardised register of asbestos within Victorian government buildings
Devise a risk assessment model to categorise and prioritise asbestos hazards
Develop a schedule for the prioritised removal of asbestos from government owned buildings
This approach will ensure that the long-term plan for the prioritised removal of asbestos from Victorian government buildings is informed, measured, systematic and safe.
Victorian Government Building Asbestos Register
The Victorian Government Building Asbestos Register is the foundation for our work and puts us at the forefront of asbestos identification projects both nationally and internationally. It is an aggregated register that collates and standardises all current records of asbestos and asbestos-containing material (ACM) in government owned buildings.
Specifically, the building asbestos register:
- locates the presence of known asbestos in government buildings
- details the condition of identified asbestos using consistent terminology and categories
- determines the risk of exposure to asbestos based upon factors including type of asbestos material, building use and public access
Data collection of information on the presence and condition of asbestos is already underway. When complete, the asbestos register will provide Victoria with a centralised and comprehensive database to inform the large-scale management and coordinated removal of asbestos.
Victorian Government Asbestos Risk Assessment Model
The Victorian Government Asbestos Risk Assessment Model will determine how we prioritise asbestos removal. Using its unique algorithm it will grade the risk of exposure posed by each ACM and prioritise its removal accordingly.
The risk assessment model will allow us to:
- identify priority areas where asbestos presents a risk
- assess risks based on factors such as likelihood, consequences and frequency of exposure and the condition, friability and risk of disturbance of asbestos and ACM
- prioritise the removal of asbestos containing material.
Using a methodology that is systematic and evidence-based—and working towards the eradication of hazardous and ageing asbestos —the model will provide a robust justification for the recommended phasing of government-wide, risk-based removal.
Victorian Government Schedule for Prioritised Asbestos Removal
The Victorian Government Schedule for Prioritised Asbestos Removal will establish a coordinated, whole-of-government plan for the ongoing removal of asbestos from its buildings. Drawing from our own comprehensive asbestos register and risk assessment model, the schedule will provide a long term plan for measured and safe asbestos removal.
Specifically, the schedule will:
- prioritise asbestos removal based on factors including condition, friability and risk of disturbance
- stage asbestos removal across a wide range of buildings
- evaluate the barriers to the safe removal of asbestos
- focus on the Victorian government’s removal capacity
- ensure removal approaches are effective and safe.
As the third stage of our approach, the schedule will deliver to government innovative yet practical solutions that are based on industry-leading insight and analysis.
This work will enhance the safety of the Victorian community by working towards the eradication of asbestos from government buildings to ultimately reduce the risk of asbestos related diseases.
Reporting to the Government
The Victorian Government Building Asbestos Register, the Victorian Government Asbestos Risk Assessment Model, and the Victorian Government Schedule for Prioritised Asbestos Removal will all be included in our first report to the government in 2018.
After this, we will continue to report annually to the government on the progress of removal of identified asbestos from Victorian government-owned buildings.