We're making routine assessments of our buildings to determine how many may include asbestos-containing materials (ACM).

The Council owns more than 2000 buildings across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. Those buildings include toilet blocks, storage sheds, community centres, libraries, sport and recreation centres and social housing units. We're checking nearly all of them for ACM. The buildings being checked are mostly older ones built before New Zealand started regulating the use of asbestos in 1978, and ones that have not been recently checked through other programmes.

Contractors, who are specialists in hazardous substances, will check each building and test it for asbestos. If they find asbestos they will make recommendations on how and when it should be removed.

Is it safe for occupants to remain in these buildings?

If asbestos is present in a building, it is unlikely to pose any health risk as it will probably be undisturbed and sealed within the building. Asbestos is only a health risk if it's in poor condition or if it's been disturbed. In most cases we expect there will be no need to stop using the building.

ACM doesn’t necessarily have to be removed immediately. In most cases we expect there will be no need for occupants to move out of any buildings, unless an immediate risk to health or safety is found. This depends on the amount and condition of any ACM that’s found. In most cases where ACM is found, we can plan to safely remove it when the building is next renovated or repaired.

In the unlikely event that any groups using our Council buildings have to temporarily leave the facility we will work with them to find suitable temporary facilities if needed.

Building management and hazard information QR codes

We are putting building management QR codes on all Council-owned properties. The labels will be fixed on the exterior of buildings.

This QR process enables contractors to access relevant building management and hazard information when they are on site, for example, asbestos management surveys and asbestos reports.

Information for building tenants and visitors

Council-owned buildings all need to undergo maintenance or modification over their lifetime of use.

To help contractors understand any unique features or possible risks associated with working in any building, a process has been developed to enable them to access relevant building management information. The QR code provides a link for contractors to access this information.

Nothing has changed about the buildings and the QR codes do not indicate a new or significant risk; they are simply a tool to enable people doing maintenance or modifications to have access to relevant information.

Information for contractors

You need to download a QR code scanner from the Apple app store or Google Play or alternatively you may be able to use your camera without the app.

As part of the site specific safety plans (SSSP) you should access and view any available asbestos, hazard or building management information prior to accessing the site.

When entering a site to carry out work we encourage you to scan the QR code, review the documentation, assess risk and carry out any required actions if you are planning to disturb a hazardous material.

As a contractor to the Council you are required to comply with Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016(external link).

Contact us if you have any difficulties accessing the QR code.