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Removing a small package electrical switchboard

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This safe work procedure describes the method for safe removal of asbestos and ACM backing from small package electrical switchboards by a licensed electrician.

Asbestos was commonly used in electrical switchboards of domestic houses and commercial buildings constructed prior to 1990.

Preparation before commencing the task Equipment Safe work procedures

Preparation before commencing this task

Prior to the task being performed, all electrical workers should have received training by the person conducting the business or undertaking. This includes procedures to identify asbestos containing materials, use of PPE, appropriate techniques for removal, waste disposal and decontamination.

A risk assessment should be performed to identify risks to self and others and appropriate control measures adopted to avoid exposure to asbestos as well as other risks, such as live electricity.

Equipment

Common equipment should be available:

  • Rubber mat insulator.
  • Hi-vis vest
  • Face shield
  • fibreglass pole fuse remover
  • 200 μm plastic drop sheets
  • rolls of duct or gaffer tape
  • plastic bags 1200 x 900 mm (200 μm)
  • warning signage
  • barricading or hazard tape
  • bucket three-quarters full of water
  • atomiser bottle with water
  • rags or disposable wipes
  • PVA glue (sealant) and a small paint brush.
  • access to the first aid kit
  • safety work boots (laceless)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers from airborne asbestos fibres:

  • P2 disposable mask or a half-face respirator
  • Disposable coveralls (e.g. European Standards Type 5 and Type 6).
  • face and hand wipes
  • boot covers or gumboots

Review Preparation before commencing the task for more information about personal protective equipment.

Preparation for conducting the safe work procedure

Follow the steps depicted below and view the example videos.

The small package electrical board fixed over the asbestos insulation board (arrows point to visible edges).
1. The small package electrical board fixed over the asbestos insulation board (arrows point to visible edges).
De-energise the building by removing the pole fuse with a fibreglass pole (while standing on insulated rubber mat).
2. De-energise the building by removing the pole fuse with a fibreglass pole (while standing on insulated rubber mat).
Check the switchboard had been de-energised.
3. Check the switchboard had been de-energised.
Spray down the switchboard with water or water plus something such as PVA glue (in a ration of 5 parts water to one part glue) to suppress any dust and residues.
4. Spray down the switchboard with water or water plus something such as PVA glue (in a ration of 5 parts water to one part glue) to suppress any dust and residues.
Cordon off the work area with appropriate signage and tape to warn people potentially entering the work removal area.
5. Cordon off the work area with appropriate signage and tape to warn people potentially entering the work removal area.
Prepare the site with 200 µm plastic drop sheeting and also the area used later for personal decontamination.
6. Prepare the site with 200 µm plastic drop sheeting and also the area used later for personal decontamination.
Follow steps to put on appropriate PPE. Follow the steps outlined in personal protective equipment.
7. Follow steps to put on appropriate PPE. Follow the steps outlined in personal protective equipment.
Fit check your respirator before placing hood over your head.
8. Fit check your respirator before placing hood over your head.

Removing the small package board

Follow the steps depicted below and view the example video.

Before installing a new switchboard and backing make sure work area is clean and tidy and all waste has been removed from site.

All minor asbestos waste should be disposed of in accordance with local council guidelines. The regulated waste transport laws apply if you are transporting any quantity of asbestos in a vehicle on a commercial basis.

View the safe work procedure film for Removing a small package electrical switchboard.

Further information

For further information about electrical safety visit: www.electricalsafety.qld.gov.au.

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