The Impact of New Asbestos Legislation on Family Day Care Carers
courtesy of Family Day Care Australia

Asbestos is a common material used in domestic buildings to a lesser or greater degree in every State and Territory across Australia prior to 1985. The asbestos websites list house eaves, roofs, sheds, wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundries as areas where asbestos is most likely to have been used.

When asbestos is in good condition and left alone, it presents no health risks. Asbestos becomes a health risk when asbestos fibres are released into the air.

Common situations carers need to be aware of, in which fibres may be disturbed and released into the air, include the natural deterioration of the materials due to exposure to weather and building and maintenance related activities such as:

electrical maintenance and installation including work on electrical meter boards
flooring maintenance and installation
removal and disposal of materials containing asbestos
building renovation and maintenance work-commonly occurring as kitchen/laundry and bathroom renovations, replacement or repair of wall and ceiling linings, other additions or alterations work
painting and coating/sealing of materials containing asbestos


It is very important that materials containing asbestos (MCA) are handled by qualified professionals to avoid health risks. Lists of registered professionals who can do house assessments if required, remove asbestos or provide training are available through the work safe websites listed for each State and Territory below.

Each State and Territory has laws in place that endorse or implement the Australian Safety and Compensation Council Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC:2018 (2005)] April 2005.

Each State and Territory has complied by various legislative tools that are administered by Building/ Planning, Occupational Health and Safety and Workcover Authorities.



All businesses in Queensland are expected to be compliant with the code of practice from 1 January 2008.

Family day care carer workplaces are exempted under section 72 (2) of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997, as their premises are considered domestic; if no section of the house is sectioned off solely for the purpose of providing childcare and no staff are employed by the carer to work within the same premises in the delivery of the service.

Of note, section 73 requires carers to comply with the asbestos management code if they are altering their homes, demolishing, selling or letting.

This section can trigger the need for a trained and licensed inspector to identify and implement the material containing asbestos (MCA) removal control plan, particularly during major renovations.


Phone: Workplace health and safety infoline 1300 369 915

Useful Links
Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997 and general information

Asbestos regulations

Information sheet ‘Identification of asbestos’

Home Renovators Guide – safe work practices with asbestos containing materials



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