What is an asbestos inspection?

An asbestos inspection is a process undertaken by specific specialist technicians to determine whether or not asbestos is present in a home or building, whether or not it needs to be removed, and if so, how best to do it safely and securely.


Asbestos is a material that was widely used in all types of construction in Australia for many decades from the 1940s onwards. It slowly became clear over time that people who breathed in asbestos dust developed serious lung problems, which would often lead to premature death.

This discovery led to asbestos being banned from being used in construction, and a serious regimen was put in place to deal with the legacy of asbestos in buildings, and how best to manage its removal.

Asbestos inspections

If asbestos is present in a building, it is generally safe if it is not disturbed or moved in any way. It is when the structure of the building is altered, either through demolition or additional work being carried out, that asbestos becomes a more deadly issue. This is because any remedial work releases asbestos dust into the environment, which is then breathed in by people, leading to serious medical complications and possibly death.

This is why it is it is virtually always a legal requirement that asbestos inspections are carried out by qualified personnel as soon as any asbestos is believed to be present in the building, whether or not it is intended to carry out any construction work. The inspection will assess the level of asbestos and what needs to be done to necessitate its safe removal. The assessor or inspector will recommend the use of a licensed asbestos removal expert.

All states and territories in Australia will license professionals who are competent in the removal, storage and disposal of asbestos, and one of these experts must be used to undertake the relevant work. This would be a condition of the inspection.

The asbestos inspector will have the authority to oversee the work being undertaken, to monitor and check air quality levels before, during and after the process, to oversee the clearance process and issue the clearance certificate once the work has been completed.

Clearance inspection and certificate

A clearance inspection is the final part of all asbestos inspections and will take place once the contractor has safely removed and disposed of all asbestos that was present in any building.

The clearance will involve the inspector physically assessing the site to make sure that none is left, and will conduct air quality checks at all appropriate areas of the site. If the assessor is happy that the work has been completed satisfactorily, then they have the authority to issue what is known as a clearance certificate.

This confirms the removal of all asbestos from the building and that air monitoring has been carried out which shows residual asbestos levels to be within the safe limits as defined by the relevant regulatory authority.

For more information, contact an asbestos inspections service near you.