Asbestos in Soil

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Asbestos can be found in soil due to inappropriate demolition and/or disposal of asbestos from buildings, or contaminated soil being used as landfill.

All asbestos presents a risk in relation to breathing airborne asbestos fibres. When asbestos is in the soil, there is risk of fibres being disturbed and then becoming airborne. Mechanical disturbance includes excavations, vehicle traffic, and potentially pedestrian traffic.

The risk is dependant on the nature, quantity and type of asbestos in the soil. For example, bonded asbestos such as cement sheet material is less hazardous than friable asbestos such as lagging that can easily liberate asbestos fibres when the soil is disturbed.

The Asbestos contained within soil is usually found by visual observation, or an environment site survey/audit. The person who has management control of the soil must ensure any visible asbestos containing material is removed as long as is reasonably practicable.

Safety Systems can inspect the soil to determine the level of contamination and later confirm all visible asbestos containing materials have been removed. We then issue a Statement of Soil Inspection and outcome.

Any removal of Asbestos found within the soil must be carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist.


Risk Assessment of Asbestos in Soil

Safety Systems can provide site inspections and work in conjunction with other stakeholders to assess asbestos contaminated sites. The asbestos soil assessment is based on levels of hazard perceived by our consultants and the proposed use of the land.

We can provide specialist advice on remedial work and management of asbestos contamination, safe work method statements for remedial work, air monitoring and site supervision.

Download the Worksafe Guidance sheet on Asbestos Contaminated Soil

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