Hazardous Building Materials Due Diligence

Hazardous Materials

Conduct a Hazardous Building Materials Assessment

In order to meet legal occupational, health and safety (OHS) requirements, Edge Group offers a Hazardous Building Materials (HBMS) assessment as it helps locate problem areas that could impact employees, other building occupants and the environment. Such assessments are typically conducted for two reasons to meet local compliance:

  1. so as to notify anybody who is conducting works on a structure or a building (e.g. a contractor) that may contain HBMs especially for asbestos, which is listed in a register (prepared and/or updated at regularly defined intervals prescribed in legislation such as not longer than five-year frequencies)
  2. for pre-demolition or refurbishments purposes to ensure HBMs, where they may be impacted by such works, are identified prior to building (or structure) modifications occurring.

As such, Edge Group provides consultancy advice from the (initial) identification of HBMs to clearance (occupational hygiene) monitoring during and after the removal of such HBMs.


The Identification and Assessment of Hazardous Materials

A material and/or substance, whether in solid, liquid or gas form, is considered hazardous if it has the potential to harm human health in any capacity. Such substances can range from disinfectants and pesticides to hydrogen peroxide and propane cylinders. Edge’s Due Diligence assessment of hazardous materials carefully inspects what type of substance is employed in the building and what risks might arise from its application.

Complications might appear at different points in time depending on the level and duration of exposure to hazardous materials. During the assessment of a building for appropriate control measures, Edge considers some of these factors with due diligence.


What Preventative Measures Could be Taken Prior to a Risk Assessment?

Depending on the hazardous materials existing in the building, the safety procedures would have a different set of guidelines to be followed. As an employer, it is of the utmost importance that certain basic safety regulations are encouraged and enforced in the workplace to reduce risks with due diligence:

  • Conduct an assessment of the work environment and identify potential risk factors.
  • List the possible hazards and put in basic safety measures.
  • Contact an environmental and safety consultancy company to do a thorough sweep of the building to guide your business on how to improve safety standards and what regulations to implement.
  • Limit the use of hazardous materials to their intended purpose.
  • Ensure hazardous materials are always marked and stored correctly.
  • Immediately report any leaks or spills of hazardous materials and contact a medical professional in case of contact.

Emergency Procedures and Hazardous Building Materials: What To do?

Despite all the precautions for hazardous building materials, accidents can still occur and cause injuries. For such cases, Edge can advise you on health and safety standards to implement in your building. Under legislation in Australia (e.g. Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011), it’s recommended to follow safety measures that should be enforced in businesses and workplaces:

  • Ensure entry and exit signs are properly in place.
  • Provide a first aid kit that is easily accessible in the building.
  • Supply appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the workforce when dealing with hazards.
  • Ensure all hazardous materials are correctly labelled and stored.
  • No food consumption should be allowed near hazardous substances.
  • Employees should wash and disinfect their hands after handling such materials even if they wore protective equipment.
  • Evacuation procedures should be set in place in case of an emergency.
  • Provide emergency training to employees or building occupants

Preventative measures are key methods in managing any incidents (that could lead to personnel injuries) that could occur in buildings or workplaces.


For Which Hazardous Building Materials do we Conduct Assessments?

Based on client requirements, part of Edge Group’s building (transaction) Due Diligence investigation services conduct an assessment on the following materials:

  • Asbestos-containing materials
  • Lead-based products (including lead-based paint on walls/other structures)
  • Ozone depleting substances (ODS)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)
  • Mercury
  • Synthetic mineral fibres
  • Treated pine materials
  • Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)
  • Hazardous substances and/or Dangerous Goods such as those stored in underground storage tanks (USTs).

We carry out assessments in and out of due diligence periods and ensure that safety processes that need to be met by your business or organisation are addressed. Especially in pre-purchase Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) assessments, we can act for a potential asset buyer and inform them of potential environmental and/or OHS liabilities that they should be aware of prior to sale. Enquire today to get started!

Interested in finding out more about Hazardous Building Materials Due Diligence?
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