Which size asbestos bags are best for meter technicians?

Which size asbestos bags are best for meter technicians?

What is the best size of asbestos bags for meter technicians? Here at Meter Depot HQ we thought we would do some homework for once, and it sent us down a rabbit hole.

Theirs 2 main sizes of asbestos bags meter techs use to dispose of their old asbestos meters once they are removed.

  • The smaller size bags, 600mm x 900mm
  • and the larger 700mm x 1100mm   

You can purchase boxes of both sizes on our website here.

According to our sales, both sizes sell pretty similar numbers.

But what size is best for you

Time to get out the scale

We weighed a standard asbestos meter (meter techs will be familiar, these old meters have some weight to them).

The asbestos meter, complete, weighed in at just under 2.5kg total.

Asbestos meter on scale

What we found next was surprising, we removed the face section which is the asbestos containing part and weighed just this. 


asbestos meter face cover

It came in at just a touch over 250 grams. So making up for only 1/10th of the total weight of the meter.

What does this have to do with which asbestos bag works best? Well ultimately where/who you are swinging meters for in Australia will determine what bag is best for you.

If you hang meters in SA and some other regions of Australia, most companies forbid you to "break down" the meter and dispose of the face part separately, the meter must be kept all in 1 piece when placed in asbestos bag. This makes disposal and transport a right pain in the arse (and back) for SA techs.

Place 6 complete asbestos meters in a 600mm x 900mm bag and you are getting close to the size capacity of the bag, but more importantly you are right on the limit of what the Safe Work Australia National Code of Practice for Manual Handling [NOHSC:2005(1990)] states could increase chances of back injury significantly:

"4.23 (b) some evidence shows that the risk of back injury increases significantly with objects above the range of 16-20 kg, therefore, from the standing position, it is advisable to keep the load below or within this range;" 


Lets skip across the border to NSW for a moment

Most NSW meter techs are allowed to remove the face plate from asbestos meters and dispose of just these in the asbestos bags (their are some circumstances where this won't be the case and field supervisors can advise). So for every 10(!) asbestos meter faceplates a tech removes and place in their asbestos bags, most SA technicians have just placed 1 whole meter in the bag. This being the case a, 700mm x 1100mm is the obvious choice, weight isn't really an issue, the more meter face plates you can throw in the better off you are. and you go through way less bags then your equivalent that needs to dispose of the full meter, lucky you!

Back to techs where the full meter must be disposed of.

We highly recommend the 600mm x 900mm bags, they make for the most efficient use case and with 6 meters still can be sealed and taped easily. Don't forget you need to lift these things into your trailer/ute and then back out when you go to your disposal point, so 6 should be absolute maximum (some disposal points will not receive more then this due to weight).

Hopefully that clears things up. If you are meter tech in another region please reach out to us on our Facebook and let us know how you do things.

Their will inevitably be changes in this space and we will keep you all updated via our blog and Facebook page so like and follow to stay in the loop.




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