Many older buildings were constructed using asbestos-containing materials, this include some flooring products. Exposure to asbestos poses a series health risk. If you come across anything that you think might be asbestos, stop work immediately. In Australia you should contact your local counsel. In New Zealand you should contact your local District Health Board's Public Health Unit. These organisations will assist you by providing further information on the testing and management of asbestos containing materials.
Use the blade of a large scraper to start prying the vinyl sheet off. Work in small, manageable sections of 500mm to 600mm in length. Strip the vinyl off the floor and cut each section off as you go. A lot of old houses used asbestos in their flooring. Exposure to Asbestos is very bad for your health. If you come across anything you think might be asbestos, stop work immediately and contact your local council.