This Technical Bulletin aims to clarify the difference between the terms ‘refurbishment’ and ‘maintenance’ as used in regulation 19(2) of the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 (the Asbestos Regulations).

Purpose

This Technical Bulletin aims to clarify the difference between the terms ‘refurbishment’ and ‘maintenance’ as used in regulation 19(2) of the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 (the Asbestos Regulations).

Background

Asbestos exposure is the number one workplace killer in New Zealand. Each year around 170 New Zealanders die from asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

In 2016 new regulations were introduced with the goal of improving the practices of people working in and around asbestos, leading to a reduction in the number of people exposed to airborne asbestos fibres.

Construction activity such as maintenance, refurbishment or demolition can expose people to airborne asbestos fibres.

The Asbestos Regulations require a business or undertaking to identify asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACM) before demolition or refurbishment work on a structure or plant is carried out at a work site*. Maintenance (i.e. minor or routine maintenance work) or other minor work is not included.

This bulletin sets some context around the terms ‘demolition’, ‘refurbishment’ and ‘maintenance’.

Find the details here.