Information for homeowners
There is a one-stop shop for homeowners who need to know more about asbestos and asbestos containing materials: the asbestos aware website. While this information was initially developed for people living in Greater Christchurch, it's relevant for anyone undertaking or commissioning residential work that may involve disturbing asbestos or asbestos containing materials.
One of our roles is to regulate asbestos in the workplace. The workplace includes your home when work or repairs are done by a contractor. We administer the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 (the Regulations)(external link) which are designed to minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos.
Guidance for householders
If you are having asbestos removal work done, ask the contractor whether the work requires an asbestos removal licence. If it does, you should request to see their company’s asbestos removal licence. Householders can check the register of licensed asbestos removalists.
Licenses are not required for work conducted on asbestos or ACMs, such as maintenance and servicing work, but the people carrying out the work must be trained in how to work with asbestos safely.
Asbestos-related diseases take many years to develop. Symptoms developing within months of exposure are unlikely to be related to asbestos exposure. However, if you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, you can put your details on the WorkSafe New Zealand Asbestos Exposure register. You will receive information on asbestos while the register provides WorkSafe with valuable information to help with the management of potential exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos and your home
If you are in the process of planning work in your home, it might be a good time to consider the presence of asbestos? Houses built, or that had work done, between 1950 and 2000 are quite likely to contain some asbestos.
Find out what you need to know if you are planning to do refurbishment works in your home.
For further information, refer to the Ministry of Health’s Asbestos advice for householders(external link).
What we are doing
We manage complaints of poor practice in the handling of asbestos and ACMs in a variety of work-related locations, including homes. Our enforcement of the Regulations(external link) includes assessment visits of large commercial asbestos removal projects to ensure best practice is observed.
It’s important the people doing work on your home have the right skills and knowledge on how to safely handle asbestos. That’s why we’re working with ‘tradies’, contractors and other businesses to make asbestos work in homes safe.
We ensure asbestos handling guidance is accessible and practical. That guidance includes the Approved Code of practice for the Management and Removal of Asbestos and a series of videos on our YouTube channel(external link) with important information on handling asbestos safely.