Asbestos management:Your responsibilities as an owner.

Are you considering a purchase of commercial property in Queensland? As an owner it is your responsibility to identify and manage asbestos under work place health and safety. 

John Gallagher from Argon Law will explain to you the important aspects to know about asbestos management. 

Owners must create two documents, an Asbestos Register and Asbestos Management Plan about where asbestos exists and what action has taken place. These documents must be kept up to date. 

You might be wondering if asbestos management concerns you, if your a joint owner of a property or a tenant? Yes, there are certain obligations that apply to tenants as well.

Do asbestos management obligations apply on constructions after the 31st of December 2003? What if there are already asbestos management plans involved in the building construction? 

What must you do to ensure you have all the information on asbestos history when purchasing a property? What about an asbestos warranty from a previous owner? 

More Information

Are you considering a purchase of commercial property in Queensland?

If so, you should be aware that the property is likely to be a workplace for the purposes of the Work Health and Safety legislation and that if you become the owner, you will be responsible for identifying the existence of asbestos on the property.

The first thing to know is that anyone with management or control of a workplace must ensure that any asbestos in the workplace is identified and, where it exists.  Two documents must be created and kept up to date.  These are:

  • an asbestos register  which identifies all offending material;  and
  • an asbestos management plan which describes how the asbestos is to be managed .

These obligations apply to all owners of commercial property, even if they have leased the property to a tenant, albeit that a parallel obligation also applies to the tenant.

The obligations don’t apply if the building concerned was constructed after 31 December 2003, but only if no asbestos is likely to be present for some other reason.

Most standard contracts for the sale of commercial property place no onus on sellers to provide a buyer with information on asbestos, so as a buyer you should ensure that special conditions are included requiring the seller to provide you with copies of any asbestos register or management plan that may exist and even a warranty from the seller about the presence of asbestos in the building.

If you need any help with such special conditions or any other aspect of purchasing commercial property please contact us on 07 5443 9988 or[email protected].

Argon Law is a Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore.  We are commercial lawyers, business lawyers and property and conveyancing lawyers and are eager to assist you in any way we can.


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