Asbestos-Contaminated Soil

Comprehensive solutions for asbestos-contaminated soil management and removal.

McMahon Services are pioneers in the asbestos removal industry, having completed some of the largest asbestos removal projects ever undertaken in New Zealand and Australia. We hold all required licences and our specially trained personnel have a thorough understanding of all New Zealand regulations and legislation.


Widespread use of asbestos commenced in New Zealand in the 1930s when it was imported into the country to manufacture products comprised of asbestos mixed with cement, only ceasing production by the mid-1980s.

New Zealand’s first asbestos regulations came into effect until 1978. It became illegal to import blue (woolly stone) and brown (featuring harsh, spiky fibres) asbestos into the country from 1984 and all asbestos contained products became illegal imports in 2016.

Buildings constructed, altered or refurbished from the 1940s to the mid-1980s are likely to feature asbestos-containing materials. Other common uses for asbestos included insulating boards, friction linings, fire doors, gas and electric heaters, fuse boxes, gaskets, pipe lagging, sprayed insulation and brake linings.

Over the years, much asbestos-containing materials from these sources have ended up in the ground due to improper remediation and treatment services at the time.


Bonded asbestos pipe uncovered in soil


The management of asbestos contaminated soil has typically been driven by two main regulatory areas. These are:

  • Environmental Regulations – the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Authority.
  • Occupational Health & Safety Regulations – the responsibility of WorkSafe New Zealand.

Both of these Government agencies play a key role in how asbestos-contaminated soil is managed, and both need to be recognised and understood when undertaking works involving asbestos-contaminated soil.

In addition to the Regulations, there are five key documents that practitioners refer to when dealing with asbestos-contaminated soil. These are:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
  • Work Safe NZ Act 2013
  • Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2016
  • Health and Safety at Work Asbestos Regulations 2016
  • Asbestos – Management and Removal of Approved Code of Practice


Asbestos building materials found on site

Complete solution

The management of asbestos-contaminated soil is a specialised area that requires a thorough understanding of both Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Regulations.

It also requires trained personnel and specially modified plant and equipment to be used in order to meet the requirements of the regulatory bodies, the community and the client.

McMahon Services have been pioneers in the asbestos removal industry since the industries’ inception in the late 1970s and have completed over $500 million in asbestos removal, hazardous materials removal and environmental decontamination projects in that time.

Our strong profile and reputation in the industry mean we have worked with authorities, regulatory bodies, and government to develop approved codes of practice and safe-work procedures surrounding the safe removal of asbestos, still in use today.

Through on-going innovation, we have developed the knowledge, skills and work processes in order to effectively and safely manage asbestos-contaminated soil.

Comprehensive understanding of all New Zealand Regulations
  • McMahon Services understand the respective Occupational Health and Safety Regulations enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, WorkSafe New Zealand and the Federation Government of New Zealand;
  • High-level knowledge of Environmental Regulations enforced by each County and the Federal Government, as well as the Contaminated Land Audit system.
State of the art asbestos specific plant and equipment
  • HEPA vacuum systems;
  • Modified excavators with positive air system;
  • Negative air picking lines and screening equipment;
  • Custom designed and fabricated portable asbestos enclosure, airlock and HEPA extraction system;
  • Dust suppression and stockpile management systems as well as the use of novel dust suppression reagents.

A-Class license holder in New Zealand
  • Handle both friable and non-friable asbestos;
  • Constant training of personnel in safe work practices;
  • McMahon Services personnel certified asbestos removal accreditation;
  • Processes and management plans in place to undertake all works.


Turn-key solutions for sites containing asbestos-contaminated soil
  • This utilises all aspects of the specialised plant and equipment, knowledge, skills and processes required to deliver the required outcome.


Helpful Links:

Management and Removal of Asbestos

Do you have asbestos contaminated soil on your project? Contact the expert team at McMahon Services to assist you with safe, cost-effective and innovative removal services and advice.

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