Skip to main content

Code of Practice How to safely remove asbestos

SafeWork NSW

Version:  2019.  (Current)
You are currently viewing a limited version of this resource. Sign in or subscribe for full access.
Publication date
August 2019
Current status

This Code of Practice on how to safely remove asbestos is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).

An approved code of practice provides practical guidance on how to achieve the standards of work health and safety required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulation (the WHS Regulation) and effective ways to identify and manage risks.

A code of practice can assist anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code of practice. Following an approved code of practice will assist the duty holder to achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act and WHS Regulation, in relation to the subject matter of the code of practice. Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.

Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the WHS Act and WHS Regulation. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk, risk assessment or risk control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates. For further information see the Interpretive Guideline: The meaning of ‘reasonably practicable’.

Compliance with the WHS Act and WHS Regulation may be achieved by following another method if it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than
the code.

An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.


This Code is intended to be read by a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). It provides practical guidance to PCBUs on how to manage health and safety risks associated with removing asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACM) from workplaces.

A PCBU may be an asbestos removalist who may carry out asbestos removal work that does not require a licence; Class A asbestos removal work; or Class B asbestos removal work. This could include both asbestos removal companies and those persons who may carry out small asbestos removal jobs and may not have an asbestos licence, for example tradespersons.

It is recommended that other duty holders—for example, a PCBU who commissions asbestos removal work at a workplace (PCBU who commissions removal work)—should read this Code to ensure they are aware of mandatory requirements.

This Code may also be used by workers and their health and safety representatives and other people affected by asbestos removal work, for example neighbours.

It is important to read the Code of Practice: How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace, as it provides specific guidance on identifying asbestos or ACM in the workplace, determining whether removal is the best control option and implementing other control measures if removing asbestos is not the most appropriate action to take.

This Code may be a useful reference for other persons interested in the duties under the WHS Act and WHS Regulation.

This Code applies to all workplaces covered by the WHS Act where asbestos removal is carried out. Some chapters of this Code will apply to asbestos that is present in residential premises where the premises become a workplace.


Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Duties For Removal Work That Does Not Require A Licence
Section 3: Duties For Licensed Asbestos Removal Work
Section 4: Controls Applicable To All Types Of Asbestos
Section 5: Using An Enclosure During Large-Scale Removal Work
Section 6: Methods For Small Scale Removal
Section 7: Controls For Specific Asbestos Removal Work
Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: Asbestos Removal Control Plan Contents
Appendix C: Respiratory Protective Equipment
Appendix D: Example Of A Clearance Certificate
Appendix E: Examples Of Asbestos Removal Work

NSW Government
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Australia License
Code of Practice How to safely remove asbestos 2019 cover