Crossing an asbestos roof is like walking a tight rope – if you step on it, you’ll probably fall straight through. When Tyco Water needed to send people to maintain roof-top equipment, it was obvious the asbestos had to navigated carefully – and in just eight days rather than the standard 30 needed to install on this dangerous roof.
Under Workplace Health and Safety legislation, there are specific requirements for preventing falls and mandatory measures for working with asbestos containing material.
Workplace Access & Safety faced three big challenges at Tyco Water:
- the project had to be completed in just eight days during Tyco’s annual shutdown,
- the risk of asbestos contamination had to be controlled, and
- the roof structure is about 60 years old and there isn’t any structural or design data available
Workplace Access & Safety conducted an assessment of the areas to be accessed on the roof. Our structural engineer checked the trusses to make sure they were capable of bearing the superimposed live loads required under Australian standards, which were then strengthened.
Before the installation, Workplace Access & Safety identified appropriate measures for an installation onto asbestos cement roof sheeting. Under the National Code of Practice (COP) for asbestos, there are specific requirements surrounding on-site air monitoring, installer qualifications and accreditation, and wearing personal protective equipment.
The air around the work area was continually monitored and tested daily. Acceptable levels were maintained throughout the whole process by spraying liquid onto new penetrations, and by using as many of the existing holes as possible.
The project had to be completed over the summer shutdown period, with the risk of rain. To reduce the time on site, Workplace Access & Safety pre-fabricated the system in its Queensland fabrication facility.
It’s common in the fall protection industry for an installation like this to take 30 days with installers assembling the system on the roof. Accurate measurements and prefabrication meant Workplace Access & Safety met Tyco’s short time frame and limited the amount of time that the installers worked at height.
The system was fabricated from grade 6063-T6 aluminium, using profiles that are specially designed to fit in a super six roof profile. The superimposed live loads are rated to 2.5kPa, so that they comply with the National Construction Code (formerly the BCA) and AS/NZS1657.
Tyco’s project was completed within budget and well before the end of the shutdown period.
Workplace Access & Safety specialises in the installation of walkway and platform systems on asbestos cement roofs throughout Australia. We have specific systems, procedures and equipment in place to deal with installations over asbestos cement roofs. Our designs and process ensure that the whole process is fully compliant with legislation pertaining to asbestos. The end result is a system that provides compliance with the Prevention of Falls legislation and genuine risk reduction for our clients.
Clients that have engaged Workplace Access& Safety to install walkways over asbestos roofs include Gainsborough Hardware, Visy and Yakka.
Call us on 1300 889 894 to talk about your next project.