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Tag: asbestos

SafeWork NSW Fast Tracks Asbestos Assessments in Light of Fires

When conducting any kind of clean up after natural disasters, such as bushfires and floods, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of damaged asbestos.

In light of this, SafeWork NSW recently waived it’s 5 day asbestos removal work notification timeframe following fierce bushfires in some parts of the state.

Fast tracking of assessments by SafeWork was implemented to ensure fire damaged asbestos was removed as soon as possible.

SafeWork said fire affected homes may have fire damaged asbestos materials which need to be removed safety for the health and safety of the community.

For more information contact 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378)

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Border Force Stop Dozens of Asbestos Imports Coming into Australia

Towards the latter part of last year, border authorities had made dozens of asbestos interceptions, following a department shakeup after fears were raised that enforcement may have been allowing asbestos materials to flood into the country from overseas, due to lax practices.

According to Fairfax Media, Australian Border Force made 13 seizures of asbestos material since it was established in July.

Last year there were a number of construction sites which were found to have asbestos containing, Chinese-sourced materials, including the Perth childrens hospital, despite the 2003 ban on the deadly substance.

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Canada Finally Wins Asbestos Ban


The Canadian Government recently announced a ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products by 2018.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union congratulated Canadian unions on the asbestos ban after the decades long fight unions had to put up for the ban on importation and use of asbestos in Canada.

Developing countries such as China, India and Indonesia still commonly use asbestos and it continues to be a problem on a global scale. The banning of asbestos in Canada is strong message to the world about the danger of asbestos and other countries will hopefully follow suit.

The use and importation of asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2003 but sadly there are still new cases of asbestos related diseases being reported each year.


Sub-standard Building Products the focus of Senate Action

asbestos board

The Senate Inquiry into non-confirming building products has been re-adopted after lapsing in May in the lead up to the election.

The inquiry will be required to report on May 25, 2017 and will have additional terms of reference to look at the illegal importation of asbestos as well as how to improve the regulatory framework to avoid this, including better policing, enforcement and screening asbestos projects etc.

The inquiry is also looking into better collaboration between state and federal government.

Public submissions into the inquiry have also be reopened by the committee. These need to reach the committee by the 1st of December to be considered.


Asbestos Material Dumped Near Leslie Harrison Dam in Queensland


Asbestos is a concern that as construction workers we are constantly aware of and keeping a look out for, but it is an even greater concern when asbestos is dumped near water sources because it can contaminate drinking water, affecting entire communities.

Recently asbestos was discovered near Leslie Harrison Dam in Queensland, after being dumped.

Although authorities explained that there was no risk to residents as water was treated to remove any asbestos fibres, the incident does raise concerns about the continued illegal dumping of this dangerous substance.

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Perth Businesses Face Problems Recycling Asbestos Construction Waste

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Authorities determined to recycle construction waste have been accused of laying the foundations for future asbestos victims by industry insiders.

Perth contractors have complained that they are accumulating large stockpiles of construction waste which they cannot resell because there is no market for it and cannot dump because it’s too expensive. Government has raised landfill fees by more than 500 per cent.

Some contractors say the government is being reckless by allowing recycled construction waste products to have 0.001 per cent asbestos. Read more at

Asbestos Discovered at Tasmania’s Main Hospital


Material that was disturbed at the construction site of the new Royal Hobart Hospital has been identified as asbestos.

The project is the largest dollar value construction project in Tasmania and this is the second time a suspicious material was discovered. The material was confirmed as asbestos by the Health Minister Michael Ferguson.

The massive $689 million construction project has been dogged by delays since its commencement.

This kind of discovery is common when working on refurbishment projects on older buildings because asbestos was commonly used in the building materials industry in the past. Asbestos has been banned for use in Australia.


Asbestos Sheets Could Be Putting Australians At Risk

asbestos board

A South Australian company has imported more than 8000 sheets of cement board into Australia from China, believed to be contaminated with deadly asbestos fibres.

There are now growing concerns that building material may have already been used on construction sites across the nation, exposing workers and the Australian public to contamination.

The cement sheets were imported between 2010 and 2011 and were believed to have been free from asbestos. However late last year it was discovered that the boards were tainted with asbestos.

Amid concerns for the health and safety of workers, authorities reminded everyone that ensuring asbestos is not used domestically or imported into Australia is a collective responsibility for importers, industry and government agencies.

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Concerns About Asbestos Fibres Being Released During Concrete Recycling

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There have been concerns raised about the government’s incentives for recycling construction and demolition waste given the risk of asbestos fibres being released during the process.

The state governnment is offering local governments financial incentives to use recycled construction materials in civil projects including roads, drains and car parks.

The $10million incentive was announced last Sepptember and has been promoted as an alternative to burying waste in landfills, however some industry insiders are concerned about the amount of asbestos that may be in recycled products from old buildings. Asbestos fibres may be released during the concrete crushing process.

According to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, while there is a risk of asbestos being released during the concrete crushing process, ideally asbestos should be removed before demolition begins, although this is not always the case.


Incidents Prove we Need Stricter Asbestos Imports Controls


Queensland recently called on the Commonwealth to implement more stringent import controls on the hazardous substance after asbestos was found on a major Brisbane construction site.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said far too much asbestos is making its way into the country and onto Queensland construction sites.

Minister Grace also commended the CFMEU for its testing which discovered deadly asbestos fibres on a massive construction site in Brisbane, one of the biggest in the state.

Grace went on to state that the import ban in 2003 clearly was not as effective as it should have been and workers on building sites still need to be protected.

She called on all stakeholders including the federal government and businesses to work harder to stop the importation of products containing asbestos.

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