Contractors need to ensure that they are not placing their workers and their clients at risk of asbestos exposure especially when engaging in renovation work on houses and buildings.
A recent incident which happened in The ACT has highlighted the need for caution when working on older buildings in particular because there is a chance that older building materials are still contained in the dwelling which may contain asbestos fibres. These fibres can become disturbed by construction work and be released into the air, to be inhaled by all in the house.
This is a particularly concerning matter when the asbestos fibres not only affect workers but customers too who may be living the house while renovation work is being completed.
This is exactly what happened to a couple and their 2 children who were alerted by neighbours that workers engaged in renovation construction work on their home were actually removing asbestos containing materials from the house and improperly storing it in front of their home.
This mishandling of a potentially deadly substance is something that needs to be urgently addressed across Oz, especially if we wish to reduce the high number of asbestos related deaths we experience in this country each year.
Read what happened according to this post on SafetyCulture.com.au:
WorkSafe ACT will be referring the builder involved to the Director of Public Prosecutions because workers have put the family at risk for illnesses related to asbestos.
The family left their house last month for more than three weeks after builders cut through asbestos sheeting in their bathroom with angle grinders, the entire house was contaminated.
The couple said that a neighbour approached them and said that they thought asbestos was being removed from and placed in front of their house.
They spoke to the builder who denied there were asbestos products so WorkSafe was called. They tested the sheets and confirmed that they were very dangerous.
The couple with their two children had been living in the house whilst renovations were conducted and toxic substances constantly had to be removed from the kitchen and living areas.
All of the members of the family will need to undergo annual tests for asbestos related illnesses.
The company involved has since been dealt with by authorities but this ignorance on the part of builders cannot be ignored. Australia has the highest rate of Mesothelioma (most common asbestos induced disease) in the world and if incidents like this continue, we are not likely to combat this sneaky disease anytime soon.
People hiring contractors to work on their homes should ensure that their health and the health of their families are not being jeopardised in the interim.
The article on SafetyCulture.com explains:
Mark McCabe, the WorkSafe ACT Commissioner, said that three prohibition notices, two improvement notices and two infringements had been issued to the company.
He said that if anyone is concerned about work being done in their home they should contact either ACT Planning and Land Authority or WorkSafe and they will investigate.