NSW Electrical Industry Asbestos Awareness Committee (EIAAC)

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NSW Electrical Industry Asbestos Awareness Committee (EIAAC)
                                                         Document No:          EIAAC 1
 INDUSTRY MODEL PROCEDURE                                Amendment No:         0
                                                         Approved By:          EIAAC
           NO: 1
                                                         Approval Date:        27th May 2002



EIAAC 1                   ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL
                          METERING/ ELECTRICAL PANEL INSTALLATIONS FOR
                          POTENTIAL ASBESTOS CONTAINING MATERIALS


1.0       PURPOSE

The purpose of this Industry Model procedure is to document the legislative and operational
requirements for the inspection of metering/ electrical panels at commercial and domestic premises
to determine the presence of asbestos containing materials.
The procedure has been developed for works to ensure:
     potential asbestos containing materials are identified prior to the meter/ electrical panel
        works;
     the correct procedures for the handling of asbestos materials are followed to minimise the
        release of asbestos fibres and the possible exposure of personnel and the general public;
     compliance with the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 made under the
        NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.

This procedure shall be known as the EIAAC Industry Model "Procedure for the Assessment of
Commercial and Residential Metering/ Electrical Panel Installations for Potential Asbestos
Containing Materials".


2.0       SCOPE

The following procedure is provided as an Industry Model for the Assessmet of Commercial and
Residential Metering/ Electrical Installations for Potential Asbestos Containing Materials . Any
electrical mounting panel works required where the presence of asbestos containing materials is
suspected or confirmed, will be conducted in accordance with the EIAAC Industry Model
Procedure 2 "Minor Works on Asbestos-Based Electrical Mounting Boards for Domestic and
Commercial Metering/ Electrical Installations".

3.0       REFERENCES
         NSW Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 made under the NSW Occupational
          Health and Safety Act 2000.
         The EIAAC Guidelines To Working On Electrical Meter Panels Identified As Containing
          Asbestos, May 2002.
         Asbestos Code of Practice and Guidance Notes, August 1988:
          -   Guide to the Control of Asbestos Hazards in Buildings and Structures [NOHSC: 3002(1988)], and
          -   Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos [NOHSC: 2002(1988)].
              published by the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (WorkSafe Australia).


EIAAC 1                                                                                                   Page 1 of 6
ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL METERING/ ELECTRICAL
INSTALLATIONS FOR POTENTIAL ASBESTOS CONTAINING MATERIALS                             Amendment No:0



4.0      DEFINITIONS

Asbestos means the fibrous form of those mineral silicates that belong to the serpentine or
amphibole groups of rock-forming minerals, including actinolite, amosite (Brown Asbestos),
anthophyllite, chrysotile (White Asbestos) crocidolite (Blue Asbestos) and tremolite.
Asbestos Work means work undertaken in connection with a construction work process in which
exposure to asbestos may occur and includes any work process involving the use, application,
removal, mixing or other handling of asbestos-containing material.
Bonded Asbestos Material means any material (other than friable asbestos material) that contains
asbestos.
Bonded Asbestos Removal Work means work in which bonded asbestos material is removed,
repaired or disturbed.
Friable Asbestos Material means any material that contains asbestos and is in the form of a powder
or can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure when dry.
Lebah, Zelemite, Ausbestos are trade names of panels manufactured from an asbestos/resin
composite and used in electrical applications.
Meter/ Electrical Panels includes all work on Industrial, Commercial and Residential meter/
electrical panels.

5.0      PROCEDURE

The following procedure is provided as an Industry Model for the inspection of electrical metering
installations at domestic and commercial premises for metering or electrical panel works. The
inspection is required to make a qualitative assessment of the electrical mounting board and the
lining and insulation materials inside the metering/ electrical cabinet for the possible presence of
asbestos containing materials.

Only personnel who have completed an approved "Asbestos Awareness Training Course" will
conduct the works described in this procedure.

5.1      ACTIONS

Older electrical cupboards and switchboards may include electrical mounting boards that contain
asbestos. The asbestos is typically chrysotile (white asbestos) and is bonded into the matrix of the
material. In some installations, the internal face of the cabinet may also be lined with asbestos
cement (AC) sheet or with asbestos millboard (a soft white cardboard type material that contains
asbestos).
The following four parameters will assist with the qualitative assessment for the possible presence
of asbestos materials:
     Age:
         The age of the installation (mounting boards, millboard and cement sheet products in pre-
         1988 installations are assumed to contain asbestos);

     Labelling:
         Any boards which are marked on the rear face with "Zelemite, Lebah, Ausbestos, etc." or
         with any signage indicating the presence of asbestos, are assumed to contain asbestos;


EIAAC 1                                                                                     Page 2 of 6
ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL METERING/ ELECTRICAL
INSTALLATIONS FOR POTENTIAL ASBESTOS CONTAINING MATERIALS                                              Amendment No:0




     Colour & Odour:
         Any older black mounting boards with a smell of bitumen or coal tar are assumed to contain
         asbestos (asbestos has no odour but the composite binder smells of coal tar).

     Other Materials:
      In addition to asbestos-based electrical backing boards, other asbestos containing materials may
      be encountered in electrical metering installations. Typically, these materials include: asbestos
      millboard and asbestos cement (AC) sheet. Any cement sheet (colloquially known as `Fibro')
      products encountered will be assumed to contain asbestos. Any millboard materials (soft
      cardboard-like material) will be assumed to contain asbestos. Care should be taken to avoid
      disturbance of these materials.

Examples of typical asbestos materials that may be encountered at metering/ electrical installations
are shown in the attached photographs.
Installations where any of the above mentioned parameters are present will be assumed to contain
asbestos.

Note:
Any dust encountered inside the cabinets of pre-1988 installations is assumed to be contaminated
with asbestos (asbestos boards may have been removed).


6.0      AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

      Employers have responsibility for ensuring that appropriate procedures and training are
      provided to employees for the Assessment of Commercial and Residential Metering/ Electrical
      Installations for Potential Asbestos Containing Materials.

      This procedure is provided as an Industry Model.


7.0 DOCUMENT CONTROL


        Content Co-ordinator-                 PENDING
        Distribution Co-ordinator-            PENDING

              The NSW Electrical Industry Asbestos Awareness Committee (EIAAC)

Chair: Eddie Caruana 0407 416058                                Secretary: Paul Claridge- Integral Energy Ph (02) 9853 6751

Committee Members: John Lee- WorkCover, Steve Butler- ETU, Peter McPherson- ETU, Rod Iland- NECA, Robert Lee- Integral
Energy, Bob Cook- Country Energy, Greg Paterson- Country Energy, Chris McGlynn- Energy Australia, Neil Denby- Energy
Australia, Corresponding Member, Adrian Ray- Australian Inland Energy




EIAAC 1                                                                                                       Page 3 of 6
ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL METERING/ ELECTRICAL
INSTALLATIONS FOR POTENTIAL ASBESTOS CONTAINING MATERIALS                           Amendment No:0




                                           Annexure 1




This photograph is an example of an asbestos-based electrical backing board in a typical domestic
installation. Note the dust in the bottom of the cabinet and on the fittings. All dusts inside the
cabinet are assumed to be contaminated with asbestos.




EIAAC 1                                                                                   Page 4 of 6
ASSESSMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL METERING/ ELECTRICAL
INSTALLATIONS FOR POTENTIAL ASBESTOS CONTAINING MATERIALS                          Amendment No:0



                                           Annexure 2




This photograph shows the "Lebah" stencilling on the rear face of the panel seen in Example 1. All
panels labelled with "Lebah", "Ausbestos", "Zelminite", or similar are assumed to contain asbestos.




EIAAC 1                                                                                  Page 5 of 6
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