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Switchboard Asbestos Removal – Everything You Need To Know

Removing asbestos from a switchboard is highly dangerous which only professional electricians should carry out the task. The material of asbestos will more likely be in electrical switchboards installed before 2004. Here at The Local Electrician, our expert Level 2 Electrician workers are able to deal with asbestos switchboards. We can safely remove the switchboard from the building and ensure that the asbestos will not cause harm to anyone.

When switchboard meters and panels contain asbestos it is important that safety precautions are taken seriously. If the switchboard was constructed before 2004 it may contain asbestos, this chance increases greatly if it was built before 1990. A Level 2 Electrician is trained to remove the switchboard which has been designed and manufactured with the material.

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Asbestos and Electrical Switchboards - What Are They

Asbestos is a mineral which was mostly used before 1990 for construction reasons. This is due to it having great resistance to fire and heat, as well as chemical and electrical damage. When asbestos is non-friable and also in good condition, it has less risk of being dangerous.

But when it is friable, easily crumble, then the asbestos can be extremely harmful to people. Knowing the condition of whatever object has asbestos is important to make sure that the asbestos is removed/ worked on safely.

Electrical switchboards are what transfer electricity from one main point to smaller points in a building. With electrical switchboards, the ones which were built before 1990 are more likely to contain asbestos. These are commonly black in their colour and are made from either asbestos or asbestos coal tar pitch. Likewise, some switchboard manufactures who used asbestos includes Asbestos, Zelemite, Lebah and Miscolite, the label should be stamped on it.

With these, they often will be more brown/ black colour wise, have a strong smell of tar or bituminous and have smooth finished surfaces. Even though the switchboard might not have a label saying it is made of asbestos or made of non-friable asbestos it can still be dangerous. For instance, if unsealed holes are present, all precautions and steps on older switchboards should be made to know if they are made of asbestos.

If wanting more information on ‘when to upgrade an electrical switchboard’ visit our article which provides helpful advice on the matter.

Working on the Switchboard

Operating on electrical switchboards which contain asbestos involves many different safety precautions and various steps. All actions are needed to ensure the switchboard is removed properly, but more importantly safely. Stickers may be placed on the switchboard which contains asbestos to help people know that precautions need to be taken.

Risks

With the removal of a switchboard that has asbestos in it, there can be risks if the job is not completed carefully. Using special techniques, a professional can determine how much asbestos is present in the switchboard. Similarly, these tests can also show the chance of asbestos being present in the air. Whatever the job needing work on, only a trained professional should operate on the task.

Safety Procedures Needed

Level 2 electricians are trained to handle switchboard removal containing asbestos seriously. As there is a high risk involved, safety procedures are always needed to ensure that everything is correctly done. All parts which are removed during the process and techniques involved, such as drilling holes, will be carefully completed. Additionally, the sections of the switchboard which are removed will be disposed of properly, as well as safely, as they still may have asbestos in them.

Different Safety Tools and Controls

Depending on what exactly the work is being completed there some mandatory or optional safety checks which are needed. These can include:

  • Wearing personal protective gear at all times, such as P2 rated respirator and disposable masks, gloves and so on
  • Installing seal vents which allow the dust to be contained in the work area and not in adjacent buildings
  • Barricading the job site to aware people not wearing the correct clothing/ protective equipment to not enter the building
  • Having an asbestos vacuum cleaner at all times o ensure that capturing the substances/ materials which occurs during drilling

Decontaminating the Jobsite

It is equally as important to decontaminate the site after working as it is placing safety checks during work. These are to ensure that the asbestos is completely removed from the area and will not cause any harm in the future. These procedures include:

  • Always following the ‘NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017’ guidelines on how to dispose of waste
  • Vacuuming the switchboard and surrounding areas to collect leftover dust
  • Cleaning all personal protective equipment and tools or throwing away the disposable ones.

All of these steps are crucial to ensure for the safety of the place and the presence of asbestos is completely removed from the site. Especially using the New South Wales safety guidelines as listed above, the asbestos can be safely removed with no health risks involved.

Electricians and Asbestos Switchboard Removal

When a level 2 electrician is called to help on the task they should be aware of what needs to be done. Discussing the work involved and how the electrician will manage the asbestos is important. Likewise, talking about all the safety procedures to be used, as well as how the dust will be secured is also advised. Lastly, making sure the switchboard and other items will be disposed of correctly should also be mentioned.

Experts with Asbestos Switchboard Removal Tasks

When needing a professional electrician for switchboard asbestos removal, The Local Electrician is here to help. With over 25 years of experience, our level 2 electricians will safely and properly remove the switchboard from the building. No matter what suburb or place in Sydney, our team are available 24/7 through our Emergency Electrician services to help with the task.

Including the North ShoreSouth Sydney and Sutherland Shire, our team are available for operating on all switchboards in all suburbs. For any person needing a qualified electrician to remove an asbestos switchboard contact The Local Electrician on 0439 823 1… or email us at info@thelocalelectrician.com.au.

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