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Drilling into non-friable ACM using an H rated industrial HEPA filter vacuum to control airborne fibres and dust

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This safe work procedure describes the preparation, process and work method for drilling holes into non-friable (bonded) asbestos-containing material (ACM) such as fibro, hardiplank, compressed sheeting, tilux, using an H rated industrial HEPA filter vacuum to control airborne fibres and dust.

Preparation before commencing the task Equipment Safe work procedures Cleanup and disposal

Equipment

A range of equipment should be used to control the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres, including:

  • 200 μm plastic drop sheets
  • rolls of duct or gaffer tape
  • plastic bags 1200 x 900 mm (200 μm) labelled with a warning (e.g. CAUTION: Asbestos, Do not damage or open bag. Do not inhale dust.)
  • barricading or hazard tape
  • bucket three-quarters full of water
  • atomiser bottle with water
  • access to a continuous supply of water
  • cordless drill or hand drill
  • drill bits suitable for the task
  • tape measure
  • rags or disposable wipes
  • H rated industrial HEPA filter vacuum that meets AS4260 and AS/NZS 60335.2.69:2003
  • shadow vacuuming attachments
  • PVA glue (sealant) and a small paint brush
  • marker pen
  • access to the first aid kit
  • spare PPE
  • safety lace less work boots.

Some of the required equipment
Some of the required equipment.

Safe work procedures

Follow the steps depicted below and view the example videos.

Place duct tape over intended drilling point. Mark the proposed hole for drilling on the duct tape.
1. Place duct tape over intended drilling point. Mark the proposed hole for drilling on the duct tape.
Fit a drilling nozzle attachment to the H rated industrial HEPA filter vacuum hose, position the drill bit on the point to be drilled.
2. Fit a drilling nozzle attachment to the H rated industrial HEPA filter vacuum hose, position the drill bit on the point to be drilled.
Turn on the vacuum cleaner and commence drilling the holes, ensure that the drilling nozzle attachment is firmly positioned flat against the sheeting.
3. Turn on the vacuum cleaner and commence drilling the holes, ensure that the drilling nozzle attachment is firmly positioned flat against the sheeting.
Do not remove until the drilling is complete. This procedure is called shadow vacuuming.
4. Do not remove until the drilling is complete. This procedure is called shadow vacuuming.
 
After the drilling is complete, remove the drilling nozzle attachment from the vacuum cleaner hose and dispose of it in an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick. Fit a new dust brush to the vacuum hose and vacuum clean the drilled surface and surrounding area, and then wet wipe. (Image: Courtesy of Parsons Brinckerhoff)
5. After the drilling is complete, remove the drilling nozzle attachment from the vacuum cleaner hose and dispose of it in an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick. Fit a new dust brush to the vacuum hose and vacuum clean the drilled surface and surrounding area, and then wet wipe. (Image: Courtesy of Parsons Brinckerhoff)
Decontaminate the vacuum and tools by detaching the dust brush from the vacuum hose and vacuum the brush bristles. Seal the vacuum cleaner hose entry point with duct tape.
6. Decontaminate the vacuum and tools by detaching the dust brush from the vacuum hose and vacuum the brush bristles. Seal the vacuum cleaner hose entry point with duct tape.
 
Wet wipe all external surfaces of the vacuum cleaner and hose. All wet wipes and rags are to be disposed of into an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick.
7. Wet wipe all external surfaces of the vacuum cleaner and hose. All wet wipes and rags are to be disposed of into an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick.
Place the vacuum cleaner, hose and the attachments in a sealed drum or an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick, in readiness for transportation to the next work site. This bag or container can only be opened inside a subsequent asbestos work area. (Image: Courtesy of Parsons Brinckerhoff)
8. Place the vacuum cleaner, hose and the attachments in a sealed drum or an approved asbestos waste bag which is correctly labelled and is 200 µm thick, in readiness for transportation to the next work site. This bag or container can only be opened inside a subsequent asbestos work area. (Image: Courtesy of Parsons Brinckerhoff)

View the film extract Drilling of asbestos walls and ceilings from Asbestos Awareness - an informative guide to asbestos.

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