The Health & Safety at Work 2015 act (HSAW 2015) is a game changer for building owners and property managers. Combine that with the mandatory requirements from the Asbestos Regulations 2016, many existing buildings present some major challenges in delivering an effective Safety Risk Management Plan.
The documentation that is generated in the process of managing hazards can be overwhelming. Ensuring the right people have access to this information at the right time, and that they understand the hazards, presents a major risk to the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).
BIM is all about managing data in an efficient manner and ensuring it is fit for purpose for those who need it. It has proved to be very effective in mitigating some of the risks associated with asbestos management
A guiding principle of HSWA is that workers and other persons should be given the highest level of protection against harm to their health, safety, and welfare from work risks as is reasonably practicable. The 'primary duty of care' is placed on the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to ensure the health and safety of workers, and that other persons are not put at risk by its work.
The primary duty of care requires a PCBU to ensure health and safety ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. When used in this context, something is reasonably practicable if it is reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety, having weighed up and considered all relevant matters, including:
How likely are any hazards or risks to occur?
How severe could the harm that might result from the hazard or risk be?
Disrupting asbestos is classed as severe
What a person knows or ought to reasonably know about the risk and the ways of eliminating or minimising it (eg by removing the source of the risk or using control measures such as isolation or physical controls to minimise it).
Does everyone occupying or working on the building know the risks and what measures have been taken to eliminate or mitigate them?
How available and suitable is the control measure(s)?
Where do you keep this information; how do people access it; can they understand it and it's implications?
What is the cost of eliminating or minimising the risk?
Asbestos risk management in buildings can be a long term prospect. Effective and efficient processes will reduce the long term costs.
Is the cost grossly disproportionate to the risk?
The risk of exposure to asbestos is death. It must be managed to the best of your ability.
What is your long term management plan?
If your builder is managing these risks for you, what happens to the information when their contract is over?
For more information refer to the following Worksafe New Zealand guides:
Introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 – special guide
Working with asbestos - Roles and responsibilities for businesses and workers
The Caduceus Hazard Viewer enhances the application of any Safety Risk Management Plan. By using BIM technologies we reduce barriers to accessing relevant documentation and increase understanding and comprehension.
Find out more about our BIM Management Services for Building Owners and Facilities Managers
If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact Caduceus Support (firstname.lastname@example.org)