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Asbestos Management Policy

Category Health and Safety
Type Policy
Approved by VCAG, 12 December 2016
Date Policy Took Effect 12 December 2016
Last Approved Revision 22 February 2019
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Officer Head, Health and Safety Compliance
Review Date 22 February 2024


The University of Otago is committed to providing safe and healthy campuses for all staff, students, visitors and contractors on site. The variety and age of buildings on campuses mean that there will be asbestos containing materials within the building fabric, and this policy is designed to recognise this risk and outlines the actions to identify, manage and eliminate asbestos to provide a safe environment.

Organisational Scope

This policy applies to all buildings owned or leased by the University of Otago.


Act The Health & Safety at Work Act 2015.

Asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD) Dust or debris that has settled within a workplace, and is, or is assumed to be, contaminated with asbestos.

Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Any material or thing that, as part of its design, contains asbestos.

Officer Includes any person occupying a position in relation to the University that allows the person to exercise significant influence over the management of the University but does not include a person who merely advises or makes recommendations to an officer.

PCBU Person conducting a business or undertaking, as set out in section 13 of the Act.

University The University of Otago.

Will In this document, “will” means “will, as far as is reasonably practicably possible”.


1. Summary

(a) The University of Otago, is committed to doing all it reasonably practically can to eliminate the risk of exposure to asbestos. This will be achieved through a documented asbestos management plan that meets the requirements of the Asbestos Regulations 2016.

2. Responsibilities and duties:

(a) The Vice-Chancellor and University Officers are responsible for:

i. establishing an Asbestos Management Team including nomination of the Chair, and
ii. ensuring the University policy and the ACM management plan is complied with through reports and progress updates.

(b) The Asbestos Management Team is responsible for the development and documentation of the ACM management plan to meet the requirements of the Asbestos Regulations 2016, for approval by the Officers of the University. The plan must include:

i. identification of locations containing asbestos, including new acquisitions
ii. evidence of notifying Worksafe of asbestos work
iii. evidence of communication of the plan to the University
iv. decisions, and reasons for decisions, about the management of risks arising from asbestos at the University
v. a description of how asbestos will be removed, encapsulated or sealed
vi. procedures for engaging and monitoring the performance of asbestos contractors
vii. procedures for detailing asbestos incidents or emergencies
viii. evidence of development and delivery of a training schedule for the various levels of stakeholders within the University
ix. procedures for managing external communications and requests for information
x. definitions of worker roles & responsibilities
xi. evidence of maintaining the Asbestos register and access, and
xii. evidence of the development of a health monitoring plan if required.

(c) The Director of the Property Services Division is responsible for:

i. surveying all University buildings to identify and assess asbestos risk
ii. maintenance of the University of Otago Asbestos register
iii. making available the University of Otago Asbestos register to all in-house staff and contractors that may be brought into contact with ACM as a part of their work activities, and
iv. building-related asbestos management as documented within the ACM Management plan.

(d) The Head, Health & Safety Compliance is responsible for:

i. providing advice and support on asbestos awareness training for all staff as necessary
ii. coordinating and maintaining the health records and medical surveillance/screening programme in the event of exposure to asbestos fibres
iii. implementing the asbestos screening programme to all staff as required above
iv. arranging and offering counselling to members of staff who are known or suspected to have been exposed to ACM where appropriate
v. conducting annual audits of this policy in consultation with the Chair, Asbestos Management Team, and
vi. generating reports on incidents, health screening programme and associated issues for the Chair, Asbestos Management Team and the officers of the University of Otago.

(e) Property Services Facilities Managers/Team Leaders/Contractor Manager/Project Managers are responsible for:

i. following the Asbestos Management Plan
ii. reporting to the Asbestos Management Team any possible ACM identified during the course of work, for further assessment and identification
iii. implementing the ACM removal plan for any of their allocated buildings
iv. assessing and referring to the Asbestos register prior to any projects to identify the potential for asbestos exposure and to consider mitigation strategies and the management of any asbestos
v. halting any work where suspected ACM is discovered during the course of a project and seeking advice from their immediate manager
vi. informing staff and contactors of the location of any known ACM affecting a project, and
vii. ensuring completed project reports are forwarded to the Chair, Asbestos Management Team where applicable.

(f) All Property Services Staff are responsible for:

i. complying with this policy and the Asbestos Management Plan
ii. attending the necessary ACM training
iii. assessing their work areas for potential ACM
iv. if discovering ACM, stopping work and reporting the discovery to their line manager, and
v. assessing the Asbestos register prior to any work to identify the risks of ACM and taking the necessary actions outlined in the Asbestos Management Plan.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

• Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
• Health & Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016
• WorkSafe: Management and Removal of Asbestos Report April 2016
• Health and Safety Policy
• Otago University Risk Management Framework

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the Head, Health and Safety Compliance, on