Control Asbestos Air Monitoring
What is Control Asbestos Air Monitoring?
Control Monitoring (previously known as Para occupational sampling) involves the taking of samples of air from static (fixed) locations to measure the concentration of airborne asbestos fibres. Asbestos fibres are defined as those conforming to specified geometric requirements. In general, static monitors are placed within an area immediately external to where removal of asbestos containing materials (ACM) is underway.
When is Control Asbestos Air Monitoring required?
Air monitoring should be considered whenever there is a risk of airborne fibres being released. Air-monitoring should be completed during and after any removal process.
Air-monitoring also assists in providing concerned staff, employees and contractors with the comfort and scientific proof that there is no issue of concern.
“Air Monitoring should be performed whenever ACM are being removed, to ensure the control measures are effective.” [NOHSC: 2002 (2005)]
NOHSC: 2002 (2005) distinguishes between Air Monitoring and written Air Monitoring Programs. Thus while Air Monitoring should be performed whenever ACM are being removed, a written Air Monitoring Program is not always necessary for the removal of non-friable ACM, although it is still good practice.
A Written Air Monitoring Program should be developed for all indoor removals of friable ACM, and also for outdoor removals of friable ACM where there might be a risk to persons other than the removal staff.
A competent person, who is independent from the person responsible for the removal work, should determine all air monitoring requirements. Among other things they should decide:
- The location, rate and frequency of sampling;
- Whether it is necessary to monitor air quality in areas adjacent to, above and below the asbestos work area, taking account of the potential exposures of occupants of these areas; and
- Whether additional routine air sampling is warranted in (for example) nearby high occupancy areas; and
The requirements for Clearance Monitoring.
A Competent Person is defined as someone possessing adequate qualifications, such as suitable training and sufficient knowledge, experience and skill, for the safe performance of the specific work.
NOHSC: 2002 (2005) refers to NOHSC: 3003 (2005). NOHSC: 3003 (2005) states that “Control Monitoring in a regulatory environment now requires formalisation which will stand legal scrutiny” and the OHS Regulation 2001 states that results obtained from such monitoring must be carried out in a laboratory accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (N.A.T.A) in accordance with NOHSC:2002 (2005).
What is NATA?
NATA is Australia’s Government endorsed provider of accreditation for laboratories and similar testing facilities (www.nata.asn.au). To support its accreditation programs, NATA also operates proficiency testing programs (eg the National Asbestos Program NAP through Proficiency Testing Australia), in which GETEX participates. The benefit ofNATA accreditation and proficiency testing is to enable the client to select reliable testing and measurement services.
What Can AMS Do To Help?
Act as a Competent Person in accordance with the NOHSC: 3003 (2005) and NOHSC: 2002 (2005) documents and the OH&S Regulation 2001.