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True Negatives and Exemption Certificates

Last modified: July 17, 2019
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“False positives” are bad but “True negatives” can remove a lot of guesswork.

Exemption certificates are very useful when setting up the Compliance Control Matrices or your compliance rules.

For example, you may have 2,000 properties in Australian property portfolio but three were built after December 31st, 2003. Rather than only putting 1,997 properties in the Hazmat control group and leaving out the three, simply issue an exemption certificate for the three and the control rule is now

  • Every Australian property must have a Hazmat report OR a Hazmat exemption.

The exemption certificate must state exactly why an exemption was given and should be signed by a qualified person or subject matter expert.

The benefits are

  1. you never have to ask “why do those three not have hazmat reports?” and waste time trying to get the answer, it’s all in the exemption document.
  2. corporate wisdom is maintained  when people change jobs

Case study

One of our clients recently ran an audit for Hazardous Materials Report for all their managed properties and discovered a number of buildings have no Hazardous Materials report. They spent days trying to work out if these buildings

  • are missing a crucial report or
  • don’t need one because they were built after December 31st 2003. (Australian Code of Practice)

A simple True Negative statement solves this problem. For all buildings that don’t require a Hazardous Materials report, they now have a simple a one-page document, signed by a competent person, that states something along the lines of

We declare this workplace does not require an asbestos register because

  • The building was constructed after 31st December 2003
  • There have been no alterations or extensions constructed prior to 31st December 2003
  • The building was constructed prior to 31st December 2003 however
    • No asbestos has been identified
    • All asbestos has been removed under a previous project 

They now simply need to check that 100% of their buildings has

  • Either a “Hazardous Materials report – True Negative statement”
  • Or a “Hazardous Materials report – None found”
  • Or a “Hazardous Materials report” with a “Hazardous Materials Management Plan and Hazardous Materials Register”
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