An asbestos audit is another term for an asbestos inspection, in which a person (preferably a trained, licensed professional) inspects a premises for the presence of asbestos, or suspected asbestos-containing material (ACM).

An asbestos audit is a good idea when encountering any building constructed before the 1980s, especially before remodeling, demolishing, buying or selling it. In many cases, asbestos audits are required by law to protect the health and safety of the public. 

Background on Asbestos Audits

Asbestos may be a naturally occurring mineral, but it remains one of the most dangerous substances known to man. However, its ill effects on human health were not widely recognized until the 1970s. For years, construction companies used an assortment of asbestos-based products to build homes, schools, and offices. Many of these same structures remain contaminated. 

Disturbing Asbestos in a Building Can Create Significant Hazards

While asbestos is safe when it is left undisturbed, renovation and demolition work could unsettle it, posing a significant risk to anyone in the area.  Asbestos audits can help landlords and employers track asbestos’ spread in their buildings, keeping employees, residents, and contractors safe. In some countries, states, and cities, these audits are mandatory. 

Asbestos Audit Requirements in Australia 

Australia requires asbestos audits in all workplaces if the work property was constructed on or after 1 January, 2004

If asbestos is positively identified on the work property, the owner or lessee must:

Create an asbestos registerAn asbestos register is a special document that lists all identified or presumed asbestos containing materials in the workplace.
Establish an asbestos management planAn asbestos management plan should detail any decisions made about the containment, management, and removal of asbestos materials. It must also detail asbestos incident procedures and handling policies. If asbestos is not immediately removed, then the asbestos management plan must be kept up-to-dated and reviewed every 5 years.
Asbestos registers and management plans should be posted in a place accessible to employees and other persons who might be exposed to asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos Audits for Business and Property Owners in Australia

Asbestos Audits in Australia are governed by a number of laws, and many impose particular legal responsibilities on both business and propert owners.

A typical asbestos business audit consists of two steps:

  1. The property owner must contact a licensed asbestos auditor to inspect their premises for asbestos containing materials, or ACMs. 

  2. The property owner may be required to perform certain actions depending on whether asbestos is identified in or around their premises.

    1. If asbestos is not present on the property, then the owner need not take further action.

    2. If asbestos is present on the property, then the owner must create and complete an asbestos register detailing the location and character of all asbestos materials.

If asbestos is found, then the property owner must: 

  • Obtain an asbestos register and document the asbestos containing materials
  • Contain and control the asbestos contamination  
  • Create an asbestos management plan 
  • If removal of the ACMs is legally required, contact a licensed asbestos removal service

Asbestos Audits in the United States 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has no legal requirements for asbestos audits for most businesses and buildings, with limited exceptions: schools and other educational institutes, for instance, are subject to auditing requirements similar to those in Australia and other countries. 

Reasons to get an Asbestos Audit in the U.S.

Business and property owners can mitigate risk and protect their customers and tenants’ health by getting an asbestos audit

However, an asbestos audit can assist business and property owners in mitigating risk, as business owners could be liable for damages if: 

  • Asbestos is identified on their premises; and 
  • Any employees, contractors, or visitors are exposed to the asbestos; and 
  • Any employees, contractors, or visitors are later diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness or illnesses. 

Homeowners can protect their own health and the health of their families by arranging for a professional asbestos audit in their home.

Private home-owners may also benefit from asbestos testing and asbestos audits if they live in a home that was constructed before the E.P.A. banned the manufacture, import, and sale of most asbestos materials in the 1980s; many structures built between the 1920s and 1970s should be presumed to contain asbestos until and unless testing has shown otherwise.

AsbestosClaims.Law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos. We hope this information helps you.

If you believe that your home was contaminated with asbestos, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being. 

In addition to legal claims, veterans disability, social security and employment protection like workers compensation, FELA and The Jones Act for maritime workers, there are asbestos trusts that have been set up to compensate those harmed by asbestos without having to file a lawsuit.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, including testing for exposure or how to file a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190.