Why is an asbestos management plan essential?

Written by Pradeep Kumar

An asbestos management plan assists those in charge of the management and control of buildings and other related structures in preventing their employees and site visitors from being exposed to airborne asbestos fibers. This individual must take reasonable steps to mark and record asbestos in a register, as well as advise everyone on the premises where asbestos is present about the dangers of asbestos exposure and other relevant control measures.

An asbestos management plan specifies the location of any detected asbestos or asbestos-containing material and how it will be treated. Workers and their representatives, as well as other PCBUs, must have easy access to a copy of the asbestos management plan at the workplace PCBU. A copy of the plan should be kept on file at work.

The plan should lay out specific goals, saying what will be done, when it will be done, and how it will be done. It must include the following items:

The workplace’s asbestos registration 

• Information of asbestos maintenance or servicing work, including who did the job, when it was done, and the scope of the task

• How employees at risk are informed about asbestos in the workplace, the hazards it poses, and the control mechanisms in place

• Management choices and the reasons for these actions

• A calendar for action, including priorities and dates for revisiting risk assessments, as well as particular events that may impact the timing

• Arrangements for monitoring

• The roles and responsibilities of everyone participating in the plan

• Plans for worker and contractor training; 

• A method for assessing and revising the management plan and asbestos registry, including a timeline

• Workplace safety procedures.

A workplace must have an asbestos management strategy in place for both recognized or presumed asbestos or ACM, as well as naturally occurring asbestos. The asbestos management strategy must include the following elements:

The identification of the asbestos or ACM (e.g., a reference or link to the asbestos registry and the position of signs and labels)

• Asbestos management decisions and reasons (e.g., safe work practices and control measures)

• Methods for dealing with asbestos or ACM occurrences or emergencies

• Employees who do asbestos-related jobs (e.g. consultation, information, and training responsibilities).

When do you require an asbestos management plan?

A PCBU must have an asbestos management strategy in place for each structure where asbestos has been discovered or is expected to be found at a workplace on a regular basis.

An asbestos management plan ensures that a PCBU can manage hazards in instances when persons on the property – such as workers, renters, clients, or other visitors – may be exposed to respirable asbestos fibers (fibers able to be breathed in).

The plan must be easily accessible to employees and others in the workplace, kept up to date, and evaluated at least every five years or sooner if:

• The use of a control measure or the examination of the register

• Asbestos is removed, disturbed, sealed, or confined in some way.

• The strategy for handling asbestos or ACM in the workplace is no longer appropriate.

• In some cases, a health and safety representative demands a review.

Your asbestos management strategy should be kept up to date and reviewed on a regular basis. It is a continuous process. When you re-inspect and/or work on ACMs, you must ensure that the asbestos registry is kept up to date. To ensure full compliance, the register must be dated whenever it is amended.


It is highly recommended that you re-inspect any ACMs in your property at least once a year to confirm that their condition has not altered or worsened. If they have, your strategy will need to be revised. It’s also vital to evaluate who will do the checks and if they’re qualified to do so.

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Pradeep Kumar

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