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WorkSafe ACT will direct a Canberra builder to the Director of Public Prosecutions after workers risked the lives of a Kambah family by risking exposing them to asbestos.
Over a month ago, parents Justin and Erin Thompson had to leave their home for more than three weeks after builders used angle grinders to cut through asbestos sheeting during bathroom renovations, contaminating the family’s home.
”Our neighbour came over and told us he thought there was asbestos being placed out the front of our house,” Mr Thompson said.
”He confronted the builder and the guy told him he didn’t know what he was talking about, so our neighbour called WorkSafe and they tested it and confirmed it was very dangerous.”
Over 120 personal items, such as dozens of contaminated children’s toys, had to be destroyed in order to prevent further risks to the family.
WorkSafe ACT Commissioner Mark McCabe said they had issued three prohibition notices,as well as two improvement notices and two infringements.
”There is no such thing as asbestos which is not dangerous so this is very concerning, especially coming from an established company who members of the public would assume they can trust,” he said.
”We are treating this case very seriously and my advice for anyone worried about what work is being undertaken at their home is to immediately contact ACT Planning and Land Authority or WorkSafe and we will investigate.”
NSW Electrical Trades Union assistant secretary Neville Betts was appalled at the case. ‘The poor buggers sat through three days of asbestos risk because of the dodgy builder,” he said. ”I have had a quick chat to some other union members and we have asked the family to give us a list of the children’s toys so we can replace them.”
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