Safe6. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.

Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos can be a significant health risk.  Many buildings may contain asbestos or Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs).  It is most common in older houses (built 1940 to 2000), particularly in textured plaster ceilings, wall linings, insulation, roof claddings, soffits and vinyl backings.

Asbestos can be dangerous when disturbed or damaged, in a poor condition, or when it is poorly bonded and the fibres  become airborne.  This can occur during renovation or repairs to the home when removing, scraping, raking, drilling, cutting, or sanding are carried out.

NOTE – A Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP) must be completed by all contractors for asbestos-related work.

Specialist Fletcher EQR-approved Asbestos Removal Contractors (ARCs) may complete a Control Plan instead of a Task Analysis in addition to the SSSP for all asbestos-related work.

For all asbestos work follow the Rules to Live By.

Sampling & Testing for Asbestos
Before work starts, sampling and testing MUST be carried out on earthquake-damaged areas of any house or garage which may contain asbestos.  If work has already started and asbestos is suspected, or testing has not been conducted:
STOP WORK in that area and clear all personnel
ISOLATE THE AREA.  No further work will be carried out at the residence until an asbestos test result has been received
ADVISE FLETCHER EQR who will arrange an asbestos sample and test.  Contractors MUST NOT take samples
ADVISE THE HOMEOWNER and/or occupants

If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to asbestos get an Asbestos Exposure Registration Form available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Labour Group website ( and send it to MBIE.

Minimum Standards for Asbestos Work
If the asbestos result is positive a repair strategy must be agreed between EQC, EQR and the homeowner. All removal work must follow Fletcher EQR Guidelines.  (Refer to reference below)

Asbestos Work:

Friable Asbestos (crumbles easily) is restricted work.  This work MUST be carried out by an MBIE Certified Asbestos Removal Contractor (ARC), approved by EQR.
Non-Friable Asbestos work may be completed by an EQR- approved contractor capable of performing this work.

Further Helpful Information:
Asbestos – NZ Guidelines for the Management and Removal of Asbestos (NZDDA)
Health & Safety in Employment (Asbestos) Regulations 1998 -
Locations Where Asbestos May Be Present - PDF
Asbestos: Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing (Factsheet) - PDF
Canterbury Earthquakes – Managing Asbestos -
Disaster Recovery – Asbestos Management (Factsheet) - PDF 

Fletcher EQR Asbestos Repair Strategy Guidelines
Fletcher EQR Asbestos Management Guideline