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What You Need To Know About The Asbestos Removal Control Plan (ARCP)

Safety is important during asbestos removal. You require a plan to ensure that no one in contact with the asbestos is harmed. Therefore you need an asbestos removal control plan (ARCP). In addition to providing security for everyone involved, it protects you in case any legal action is taken and helps prevent careless handling.

Why Is The Plan Necessary During Removal Projects?
The ARCP is required by Australian law, as cited in section 139B (1) of the Building Act 2004. This act requires that your ARCP contains at least the following information :
  • Method you wish to use in removing asbestos
  • Approximate amount and kind of asbestos you are removing
  • Equipment to be used during the process; include any protective gear used by workers
  • Detailed information on how to control airborne asbestos. Should be in accordance with the 'NOHSC code of practice for the safe removal of asbestos', published by Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council.
ARCP Is Also Needed For Building Approval
When applying for building approval, section 26(2) of the Building Act 2004 requires you to have an asbestos removal control plan. This plan should accompany your application, based on the following conditions: construction started before 1985 and the building is class 1, 2, 3 or 4 or it's an associated class 10 building.

A bit of explanation is needed concerning what class 1, 2, 3 or 4 buildings mean. This is a classification of erected buildings or any part of a building, according to the Building Code of Australia. Such classification is based on the purpose for which a particular building or part of it is designed and constructed, or how you intend to use it.

Here's an in-depth description of each class :
(I) Class 1: Can be one or more buildings, which constitute:
(a) Class 1 (a) single dwelling that is
- A sole detached house or
- One in a group of two or more than two attached houses, and is separated by a fire-resisting wall

(b) Class 1 (b)
- A house used commercially: guest house, boarding house or even a hostel (it shouldn't exceed a total area of 300m2¬ on all floors and it must have less than 12 residents) or
- Four or even more single houses that are used for short term holidays. They should not be located above or below another dwelling or another class of building. A garage, however, is allowed.

(ii) Class 2: This classifies a building that has two or more units of sole-occupancy and each is a separate dwelling.

(iii) Class 3: Classifies a residential building, which is neither class 1or 2. This is a common place where people live on a long term basis. Examples of this class are: lodgings, homes for the old, residential areas in schools, among others.

(iv) Class 4: A house in a building classified as 5 through to 9 and should be the only dwelling in the building.

(v) Class 10: This classifies a non-habitable house. It could be a garage, fence and a bushfire shelter among others.

Without an ARCP, you cannot obtain approval from for such buildings. Doing so would be a breach of the Constructions Occupations Act 2004.
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