If a property is affected by loose-fill asbestos and has been added to the loose-fill asbestos insulation register, a warning sign must be displayed on the main switchboard.
The ‘tagging’ alerts emergency services workers, tradespeople, service providers and maintenance workers that the property contains loose-fill asbestos insulation.
Displaying warning signs
The owner of an affected property is responsible for ensuring that a compliant warning sign is displayed at the main switchboard of the affected premises.
A warning sign needs to be displayed once a property has been verified as being affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation and appears on the LFAI Register. More information can be found on the Public register of affected properties page.
If the property is within a strata scheme, the owner's corporation must ensure that a compliant warning sign is displayed at the main switchboard located on common property.
NSW Fair Trading will provide the approved warning sign labels for all homes on the register.
Homeowners still have a responsibility to inform emergency services, tradespeople, other workers, tenants and potential buyers that the property contains loose-fill asbestos, even when the warning label is displayed.
It is very important that homeowners do not attempt to attach the warning sign label if doing so presents a risk to their health or safety. For example, if the switchboard is at a height the owner cannot access, is in a poor condition or if the switchboard has been confirmed to contain loose-fill asbestos.
Removal of warning signs
Once a warning sign is up, it must not be removed. For homeowners participating in the Voluntary Purchase and Demolition Program, the warning sign must remain on the main switchboard until the property has been demolished, the land remediated and the property removed from the register.
NSW Fair Trading can authorise a person in writing, to remove a warning sign. Penalty notices of $1,100 for an individual and $2,200 for a corporation may apply if the warning sign is removed without permission.
If a warning sign is removed or defaced, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 to arrange a replacement label.
If NSW Fair Trading believes that there is substantial evidence that a property contains loose-fill asbestos insulation, these premises can be listed on the register. A warning sign will need to be displayed at the property’s main switchboard if listed on the register.
Non-compliance with tagging
It’s legislative requirement for warning signs to be displayed if a property is listed on the register. If a homeowner refuses to attach the warning sign label on the main switchboard, they can receive on the spot fines of $1,100 for an individual and $2,200 for a corporation.
NSW Fair Trading will provide homeowners with the approved warning sign labels in the mail alongside:
- A letter outlining responsibilities and requirements around the warning signs
- Approved warning sign labels
- Information on how and where to place the warning sign label
- A confirmation form for the homeowner to complete when the warning sign label is displayed as required. The homeowner will need to return this form to NSW Fair Trading.
Homeowners who do not participate in the Program
Homeowners who withdrew from the Program after a sample test confirmed their property contains loose-fill asbestos, are still required to display a warning sign at the property's main switchboard. You cannot remove the warning sign from the premises until the property is removed from the register.
For an affected property to be removed from the register, it needs to be demolished, the land remediated and a Clearance Certificate issued.
Information for workers
If a tradesperson comes across a property with a warning sign, they should take all necessary steps to mitigate any risks of exposure to themselves or to residents. It might be a good idea to hire a licensed asbestos assessor to assist on site.
A tenant should not remove or deface the warning sign. If the warning sign label has been removed, damaged or defaced, they should notify their landlord or managing agent so a replacement can be arranged.
If a tenant knows that the property they are renting contains loose-fill asbestos insulation but there is no warning sign label on the property’s main switchboard, they should contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit our links and contacts page.