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Date PostedDecember 16, 2013

WorkCover NSW investigates asbestos contamination scare

WorkCover NSW is currently investigating reports of asbestos contamination on a construction site in North Narrabeen, according to a report on DailyTelegraph.com.au.

A small amount of asbestos was discovered on the residential building site which raised concerns that there may be more asbestos on the site, placing workers at risk.

A licenced removal specialist was called in to safely rid the site of harmful asbestos containing material.

The article on DailyTelegraph.com.au details the incident further:

752460-b7b25212-1c44-11e3-98c9-32f8ade672c4A WorkCover NSW spokesman said an inspector visited the site and found a small amount of bonded asbestos.

“WorkCover has directed the principal contractor to engage a licenced asbestos removalist to manage the safe removal of asbestos from the site,” he said.

The Manly Daily was first alerted about the possibility of asbestos on the site when a concerned resident called in this morning. The resident, along with the Daily, put in calls to WorkCover NSW and Pittwater Council.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that the matter was the responsibility of WorkCover NSW, but pledged to investigate the site on Monday.

“WorkCover is the statutory authority for all matters concerning asbestos,” she said. “We will also carry out a follow-up inspection on the property on Monday morning.”

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/northern-beaches/workcover-asbestos-inquiry-gets-under-way/story-fngr8hax-1226718752988

Now there may be a better way to manage asbestos on construction sites. An Australian firm has developed technology to help track, assess, remove and dispose of asbestos. The Australian federal government has pledged to tackle asbestos so that the country is free of the harmful substance by 2030, this technology has the potential to be revolutionary in this regard.

The company, Octfolio has launched what it calls a new Asbestos Information Management Software and can be obtained on their website www.octfolio.com

According to its creators the technology is the first and only integrated tool that is able to map, classify and quantify as well as enable the removal of asbestos from homes and buildings, in a strategic and cost effective way. It includes everything from online training for asbestos assessors and removalists to mechanisms for reporting illegal asbestos disposal.

A post on the Techi website www.itwire.com had this to say about the new technology,

“Essentially Octfolio works by creating a centrally operated database that unites all asbestos stakeholders from site assessors and removal workers to building owners and government agencies, recording their information in a micro format that then provides the big picture of what’s happening everywhere in the country in relation to asbestos contaminated sites and buildings, removal, disposal and storage.”

Source: http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/development/61563-new-technology-tool-to-help-in-asbestos-battle

However you choose to deal with asbestos is up to you, the normal way or using new and innovative technologies, but it is an issue which must be addressed and assessed even before work on the site even begins.

Employers cannot simply act as though asbestos doesn’t exist until it is uncovered by workers during the renovation or construction process because by then it may have already caused enough damage to workers and others on the site. Builders need to identify potential asbestos risks beforehand and ensure that a proper plan is put in place so that workers are not exposed, including calling in a licenced asbestos removalist to remove and dispose of the asbestos safely and legally.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

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