Tradespeople, contractors and builders have been urged to familiarise themselves with workplace asbestos handling processes or face prosecution and heavy cleanup costs.
Respiration in asbestos fibres is linked to three respiratory diseases, which can be fatal.
- Asbestosis: a chronic lung ailment which can result in respiratory impairment and to disorders for example lung cancer
- Mesothelioma: a cancer of the lining of the pleura (outer lung lining) or of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity).
- Lung cancer: caused by asbestos; cannot be distinguished from those cancers that are due to other agents such as tobacco smoking.
A man recently was fined $5500 over the usage of a high pressure hose to clean an asbestos roof on a house on Coochiemudlo Island.
The investigation and prosecution found happy wheels the man didn’t undertake a risk assessment to the undertaking even though he was informed that the roof comprised asbestos particles.
He was ripping asbestos sheeting off a roof and breaking it up while individuals were working within the building below.
The WHSQ website spells out the responsibilities and duties of individuals working with asbestos, their permit requirements and safety strategies for removal or care work. You too can download the Queensland Government publication Asbestos: A house renovator’s and tradesperson’s guide for minor work in domestic buildings, that is updated to contain information for contractors.
Those who need to be conscious of safe asbestos handling procedures include authorized contractors, hirers of high pressure water cleaners, electricians, cleaners and air conditioner installers.