Asbestos management


​​​​​​​​The department's highest priority is the safety of students and staff at all times, including through the management of asbestos in schools.

Key elements of the department’s policy for the management of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in department-owned facilities include:

  • registers to identify the location of asbestos materials
  • a program of works to monitor condition at maximum intervals of 5-yearly inspections
  • Work Area Access Permit (WAAP) process and safe work procedures
  • gradual removal of asbestos (based on risk)
  • policy that low density board is only disturbed as part of licensed removal works
  • employee awareness training​.

Asbestos containing material​

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral previously used in building and other products throughout the world.

Asbestos is the common term used to describe a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral that was used extensively prior to 1990 by Australian industry because of its durability, fire resistance and excellent thermal insulating properties.

The term 'asbestos-containing material' (ACM) refers to any material or product that contains asbestos as part of its design. ACM can take several physical forms.

ACM including ceiling sheets and tiles, wall sheeting, guttering, downpipes and vinyl flooring remain in departmental facilities and, if in sound condition, do not pose a health risk unless disturbed in an uncontrolled way.

Department’s asbestos management approach​​

The department has clear and concise procedures in place to manage asbestos in state schools and other department-owned facilities. See overview of the department’s approach to asbestos management on the a​sbestos approach for DoE facilities page​.

If ACM, such as fibro wall sheeting, is damaged or disturbed, students and staff are immediately removed from the area. In the event of a departmental asbestos-related incident, QBuild is advised and engaged to make safe, repair or remove ACM; undertake a professional clean; and provide a clearance for re-use of the area.

In state schools, it is the officer in charge’s responsibility to notify relevant parents and carers of a student proximity incident involving asbestos.

Vodcast information videos

View the below vodcasts by Dr Keith Adam, specialist in occupational medicine for more than 20 years, for factual information about asbestos in Queensland state schools.

More information on long-term health risks is also available on the Department of Health website.

Asbestos registers

You can view the department's asbestos registers which contain information about confirmed, assumed or removed asbestos at department-owned facilities.​

Service providers

Service providers for building works, maintenance and other services must comply with Working on Department of Education Facilities​.

P&Cs and visitors

School Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) members, volunteers and visitors must not do any work on ACM and must obtain a Work Area Access Permit (WAAP) before any maintenance, installation, refurbishment and construction related works of any description.

For more information about P&C responsibilities, contact your school principal.

More information

If you have any concerns about asbestos in department-owned facilities or require any further information, please contact your school principal, facility or Early Childhood Education and Care ​director.

Last updated 06 December 2023