Draft Asbestos Abatement Regulations

Draft Asbestos Abatement Regulations

Title: Draft Asbestos Abatement Regulations
Government Gazette Notice: GN R29 in GG 41387 of 19 January 2018
Commencing Date: Not yet specified – Draft regulations for public comment

The Minister of Labour gave notice of her intention in terms of section 43 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (“OHSA”) on 19 January 2018 to make the Regulations in respect of Asbestos Abatement as set out in the Schedule to the Notice.

Once these Regulations are promulgated it will repeal the current OHSA Asbestos Regulations, 2002 (GN R155 of 10 February 2002). The proposed Regulations are more comprehensive and aligned with international requirements for asbestos management.

Once these regulations come into operation employers will have 18 months to appoint a competent person to conduct an assessment to identify if there is any asbestos in the workplace. If no asbestos is identified the competent person will substantiate the workplace in writing as asbestos free and further compliance with the regulations will not be required. Should the assessment however show that here is asbestos in the workplace the following will, inter alia, be required:
•   an asbestos inventory and an asbestos management plan must be compiled by a competent person;
•   all asbestos containing material identified in the asbestos inventory must comply with the labelling and signage requirements in regulation 20;
•   an assessment of potential exposure must be carried out every 24 months by a competent person;
•   to provide training to persons who may have incidental exposure to asbestos;

The Regulations includes specific duties applicable to employees who may be exposed to asbestos, registered asbestos contractors and the approved asbestos inspection authority for asbestos work.

The Regulations furthermore includes requirements for:
•   the control of exposure to asbestos;
•   notification to the chief director of provincial operations before asbestos work may be carried out;
•   regulated asbestos areas, air monitoring, medical surveillance and personal protective equipment and facilities;
•   the disposal of asbestos; and
•   record keeping.

Interested persons who wish to comment on the draft Regulations are invited to do so in writing within 90 days from date of publication of this Notice (i.e. on/before 19 April 2018), to the Director-General: Department of Labour. Comments must be submitted on the prescribed format attached to the Notice. For a copy of the Notice click here.