Asbestos has been mined in South Africa since 1930 and was a popular material used in over 3000 different products in the building and engineering industries over more than a century. Asbestos exposure resulted in many deaths as a result of diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Although the use of asbestos in new work has been banned in South Africa since 2008, there are many asbestos containing products that are still in use today.
Employees may be unknowingly exposed to asbestos during maintenance, decorating, renovating or even demolishing of redundant plant and buildings. Injudicious disturbance of asbestos may contaminate workplaces, which may present a serious health risk to employees, occupants or even members of the public.
Asbestos may be present in fibre cement products, roof sheeting, gutters, water tanks, decorative textured coating on ceilings, in boiler and pipe lagging, or as thermal, acoustic or fire retardant insulation.
The Asbestos Regulations, OHSAct (85 of 1993) requires, amongst others, the following:
- An Asbestos Risk Assessment must be conducted.
- A written inventory of the location of asbestos in workplaces, plant or premises must be made and maintained.
- Written safe work procedures must be laid down and followed during maintenance, repairs, alterations and dismantling of buildings that contain asbestos cement sheeting and related products.
- A Plan of Work that has been approved by an Approved Asbestos Inspection Authority must be followed during work involving raw asbestos, such as stripping of asbestos insulation.
OCSA conducts building surveys in order to identify and locate asbestos containing materials. We provide you with a complete written inventory, which indicates the location of asbestos, the type and condition of the material, as well as the exposure risk. You receive a written report with clear recommendations on the future management of asbestos containing materials on your premises.
Where maintenance is conducted on asbestos containing structures, or when the complete removal or demolishing of asbestos containing materials is advisable, we can provide you with a written work procedure, or an approved asbestos work plan, as required by legislation. OCSA is an Approved Asbestos Inspection Authority and we have the knowledge and experience to manage any type of asbestos project. Experience has shown that incorrect procedures and methods, or poorly supervised asbestos removal may result in asbestos contamination, delays in the issuing of Asbestos Clearance Certificates and expensive rehabilitation and clean-up costs.
OCSA provides independent supervision during asbestos removal projects, which reduces the risk of building contamination and secondary risks. We will see your project through to a satisfactory conclusion. OCSA provides your appointed Registered Asbestos Contractors with approved asbestos work plans, training, guidance and on-site supervision to ensure that asbestos projects are completed within the shortest time possible and that costs are kept as low as possible.
OCSA provides the following asbestos services:
- Supervision and air monitoring during asbestos work, including:
- Drafting of written Asbestos Work Procedures for asbestos cement work in terms of Regulation 15 of the Asbestos Regulations.
- Drafting and approval of Asbestos Plan of Work for demolition and other asbestos work in terms of Regulation 21 of the Asbestos Regulations.
- Notification of the Department of Labour as required in terms of Regulation 3 of the Asbestos Regulations.
- Background asbestos sampling before asbestos work commences.
- Leak (enclosure check) / perimeter sampling during asbestos work.
- Assessment of the suitability of respiratory protection during asbestos work.
- Final inspection, clearance indicator sampling and issuing of Final Clearance Certificate after asbestos work has been completed.
- Evaluation of asbestos fibres in air by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) in accordance with MDHS 39/4.