Is Asbestos Training any good?

Recently the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency (ASEA) completed a report based on an “Analysis of existing training materials used by organisations in the utilities sector”.  The report followed an investigation of asbestos training materials undertaken by the former OHS manager of the Australian Workers’ Union, Dr Yossi Berger.  Berger applied a specific list of criteria to the training materials which in many ways can be applied to all WHS training:

  • Accurate, effective and practical information, successfully communicated, complete and uncompromising
  • Teaching must go beyond the presentation of facts
  • Awareness that does not normalise risk
  • Development of emotional wisdom and protective unease
  • Fostering of an ability to query and withstand workplace pressures …
  • Historical examples of downplaying the serious health effects of exposure to asbestos
  • Precautionary principle
  • Emphases, demonstrations and explanations of safer work practices
  • Identification and use of correct tools and procedures
  • Knowledge of licencing and identification and communication of potential issues

The ASEA report found that asbestos training providers were quiet on the precautionary principle.  Asbestos is one of those materials that was used or installed in Australia decades ago so the handling of the material in construction is no longer a concern.   However, it occurs commonly in demolition – a process that already presents a high risk but is even a higher risk as it is a process that many want done quickly so it doesn’t impede whatever is being built on.  The focus in what is going to happen rather than what is happening at the moment.

asbestosIn terms of regular safety training the precautionary principle should receive move attention or is seen as more relevant because it prepares the student for avoiding hazards through job design, work task planning and resource management.

The report found that the criterion concerning fostering of an ability to query and withstand workplace pressures … was “least represented and almost completely absent across all reviewed materials”.

The report offered no reason for this absence yet the ability to question work practices and pressures is an essential element of the WHS obligation to consult and is often described as a workplace right to refuse work when one considers the task unsafe to perform.  

This absence is also strange given that the training materials are from an asbestos course and that awareness of the health risks of asbestos is generally high in the community.  Perhaps trainers relied on this high level of awareness to skip or downplay this unit.

A similar approach by the WHS trainers assessed may have applied to the poor representation of “historical examples of downplaying the serious health effects of exposure to asbestos”.  Given that Australia remains in the middle of projected span of asbestos-related disease fatalities it is important that the historical context of asbestos use be covered in asbestos training.  

The assumption that “everyone knows the risks of asbestos” is false given that Australia has a healthy rate of immigration with many coming from countries where WHS awareness is low.  Only a generation ago in Australia, asbestos was still being promoted as a suitable building material.  This is still the case in many countries and Australian asbestos training should be reiterating the seriousness and consequences of the mishandling of asbestos and asbestos-contaminated materials.

Part of the ASEA project was the development of a model unit of competency to “recognise and respond to asbestos risk in the utilities sector.  The unit of competency includes these four elements

  1. “Recognise asbestos hazards.
  2. Implement basic asbestos hazard controls.
  3. Contribute to an empowering safety culture.
  4. Comply with regulations and workplace procedures.”

The ASEA report found

  • “Elements 1, 2, 4 were addressed, to varying degrees, across most of the supplied training material.
  • Element 3 was rarely, if ever, addressed in the supplied material.”

The need to establish and maintain a “safety culture” has become a mantra for the WHS profession as it is accepted that a safety culture plays a crucial role in establishing a workplace where safety is advocated and that project and site managers display a commitment to WHS through appropriate leadership actions.

Trainers may have struggled with this element as even the WHS profession continues to argue about the existence of a “safety culture”.  However, the element is really a new way of discussing consultation, hazard assessment, safety management, investigation, preparation, resourcing and skill levels.  Perhaps the training element was rarely addressed because asbestos handling is often seen as a blue-collar activity where safety culture concerns more white-collar and supervisory activities.  Regardless, if the element exists in the unit of competency, it should be taught and to the best possible level.

The ASERA/Asbestos Awareness report concludes by acknowledging “…there is some great material being used” but also states that there are “some significant holes” in the training materials.  Holes in any WHS training material is of great concern but when training is on an issue like asbestos, such concerns should be very high.  As the Government continues to review asbestos training, it is time for employers and employees to not simply choose a training provider on trust but to inquire further about the trainer’s competency and whether the training materials being used are the best they can be.  Safety training should never be a waste of money and should always decrease workplace risks.

 

For more details on AlertForce’s nationally recognised Asbestos Removal courses, go to http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/asbestos-awareness/

Asbestos Contamination Risks Community Safety And Finances

asbestos trainingAsbestos contamination of properties in affluent area South West Rocks St, has left one homeowner with a significant bill for the cleanup and upset neighbours needed to pay out of their own pockets.

The contamination happened when a contractor with a high-pressure water cleaner, began washing down asbestos off of a roof of one of the Seaview St homes.

Neighbours began to worry when the asbestos contaminated water began to raid down upon their properties.

ASBESTOS contamination of properties in an exclusive South West Rocks St last week has left one homeowner with a big bill for the clean-up and neighbours  out of pocket and upset.

The contamination occurred last week after a contractor with a high-pressure water cleaner began washing down the  asbestos roof of a house in Seaview St.

Neighbours quickly became concerned when water mixed with asbestos began to rain down on their properties.

One neighbour  contacted  Kempsey Shire Council to voice his concerns over the deadly material.

“I was told by the person I spoke to that the council only had jurisdiction over the work if it was the owner actually doing it,” the neighbour said.

“If it was a contractor then it was a problem for WorkCover. So I contacted the WorkCover office in Port Macquarie. They were very concerned and sent someone straight up to see what was going on.

“The man doing the pressure washing had left by then but WorkCover took control of the situation and ordered a clean-up.”

WorkCover engaged a professional asbestos decontamination service to undertake the clean-up, which, the agency told South West Rocks News, is  almost complete.

Meanwhile an investigation into the incident is  continuing.

“WorkCover directed the property owner to engage an occupational hygienist and licensed asbestos removalist to safely remove asbestos from the property and issue a clearance certificate declaring the site safe,” the spokesman said, referring to the decontamination operation.

“WorkCover is also providing advice to the owners of neighbouring properties.”

Meanwhile the owners of  one of the adjoining properties, stated that the are out of pocket by approximately $5000 because of interrupted business.

A Kempsey Shire Council spokesman said the council  will manage the issues according to the  Protection of the Environoment Operations Act but did not wish to comment further.

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http://www.macleayargus.com.au/story/1797321/south-west-rocks-homeowner-counts-cost-of-asbestos-clean-up/?cs=1526

The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure With DIY Renovations

Do-it-yourself home renovators are

Do-it-yourself home renovators are regularly exposing themselves and their children to cancer-causing asbestos, a study of NSW residents has found.

Experts say the disturbing findings show that, despite repeated warnings, Australians are still not protecting themselves from asbestos-related diseases.

The study of almost 860 people who recently completed a do-it-yourself renovation found more than 61 per cent said they had been exposed to asbestos. More than one in five said their children had been exposed.

Co-author Anthony Johnson said the more people were exposed to asbestos, the more likely they were to develop conditions such as the deadly cancer mesothelioma.

”There is no safe level of exposure,” said Dr Johnson, a respiratory physician from the Liverpool area. ”We don’t want to scare people, because the overall health risks are low, but we do see people who have mesothelioma and the only exposure they can recall is something like this.”

Dr Johnson said, on average, mesothelioma would only develop 42 years after exposure.

”Asbestos was removed from fibro around 1984,” he said. ”But we are worried we are going to keep seeing cases for the next 40 years if people keep getting exposed.”

”It’s a horrible disease but it’s completely preventable”.

The study, published on Monday in the Medical Journal of Australia, found one third of people exposed had cut asbestos building materials, one in four had drilled them, and one in 10 had sanded them. More than half said they never or only sometimes wore protection such as face masks.

Asbestos Diseases Research Institute director Nico van Zandwijk said the study was a warning to people considering a renovation.

”The fact that more than 60 per cent of people said they were exposed – and that’s just the people who could recall they were exposed – means that the level of awareness about the dangers of asbestos is insufficient,” he said. ”People need to think before they cut.”

Professor van Zandwijk said Australia had been the world’s highest per-capita user of asbestos.

”Asbestos building materials were tremendously popular in the previous century, particularly in the post-war period,” he said. ”It was cheap and it was used everywhere.”
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/doctors-brace-for-40-years-of-asbestos-illness-20130915-2tstp.html#ixzz2gEJw2Nfp

Tank Seals Tested Following Asbestos Scare on Curtis Island

Asbestos was discovered in two tank seals at  QCLNG’s site on Curtis Island.

Bechtel dismissed the amounts of asbestos as negligible but were removed from the site, although an investigation was launched to discover the reasoning behind the suspect seals use.

Workers received a bulletin informing them that one of the seals in a small vessel  had an unusual composition, along with another similar seal. Both seals were eventually sent off for analysis.

“We have inspected all of the tanks on site from the manufacturer of the subject tank,” the bulletin said.

“None of the other seals on this manufacturer’s tanks are suspect.”

It stated further that asbestos was not discovered in any further seals following analysis.

Bechtel reportedly informed the appropriate authorities of the suspect seals and they will be conducting an investigation.

The site preservation team, which found the trace elements, was congratulated on its proactive approach to ensuring and maintaining a safe work site.

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Source: http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/seals-tested-after-asbestos-found-on-island/2025496/

Asbestos Task Force Still Has Some Work To Do

An independent taskforce organised by the Labor party at the peak of asbestos recent Telstra Asbestos concerns, will reportedly be incorporated into  the new Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

Taskforce chairman Geoff Fary remarked that there remained  “a lot of work” for it to do.

Fary has contacted  Employment Minister Eric Abetz to discuss the plan.

He said that despite the changes still to come to NBN , “for the foreseeable future there will be a lot of work for the independent taskforce” as NBN cabling continued to be rolled out.

The asbestos task force was established in June by former workplace relations minister Bill Shorten and former communications minister Stephen Conroy  after reports emerged that poor safety measures were being practiced at some of the Telstra’s pits.

Also established was a taskforce for a “hindsight” review,to review all asbestos-related work carried out by project workers.

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Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/still-a-lot-of-work-to-do/story-e6frgaif-1226727906198#sthash.RqQKT5Ro.dpuf

New Software Will Help Manage Asbestos Risk

ASBESTOS TRAININGA new software platform will reportedly help map,manage and remove deadly asbestos material.

Octfolio’s abestos information management software launched last week along with a supplementary website.

The platform took three years to develop, before beta versions with sent out to institutions like Ergon Energy, Byron Shire Council, and the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

Owned by investment company Tulla Group, Octfolio was founded by one-time Elders Resources chief executive Kevin Maloney– also a Tulla chairman.

Exposure to asbestos is a known cause of mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer which has prompted a plethora of state and federal legislation and safety measures.

The software aims to make it simpler to comply with legislation covering asbestos and to use asbestos-related databases such as the National Asbestos Register.

“Octfolio has developed the first and only fully integrated tool that will map, classify, quantify and enable the strategic cost-effective removal of asbestos from workplaces and homes,” Octfolio managing director Darren Anderson said.

The software has been rolled out at Queensland’s Ergon Energy, which uses it to manage its entries in the National Asbestos Register.

“They said to us they had been paying the Queensland government millions a year to do the audits and (asked if we had) a better solution,” Octfolio chief technology adviser Mark Kay said. He said the Octfolio software automated the process of generating and submitting field reports from asbestos-affected sites.

“Imagine Ergon Energy trying to do that across thousands of different sites,” said Mr Kay.

“Now the auditors use tablets to collect information in the field so you don’t have that paper handling.”

The software also automatically generates reports after auditors submit their findings,and will reportedly reduce the costs of the exercise by up to 75 per cent.

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Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/technology/octfolio-software-to-help-manage-asbestos/story-e6frgakx-1226720432894#sthash.U31x6mP5.dpuf

Council To Remove Asbestos From Fire Damaged Building

The District Council of Coober Pedy is gearing up to remove asbestos from a fire-damaged building in the town’s main street.

The business complex suffered a serious fire in July which released asbestos into the air. Community members who work in the area have attempted to convince the council of the dangers to their health.

The council decided at a special meeting that the asbestos will be removed at an estimated cost of $75,000.

Mayor Baines is convinced the public will not be put at risk.

“There will be constant air monitoring undertaken and they are a licensed asbestos removal company,” he said.

Baines is confused as to why the council is facing the removal bill after weeks of negotiating with various authorities to try and remedy the issue.

“Everybody started ducking and weaving as soon as we tried to get some action,” he said.

He says the council may, in future, consider seeking a change to legislation to put the onus on a government body to deal with the removal instead of the council.

The removal work is expected to be completed shortly.

 

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Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/council-steps-in-to-remove-asbestos-from-fire-hit/4967596

Family Concerned With Asbestos Contaminated House

asbestos trainingTenants are concerned that their worn-down leased house in western Melbourne nay be contaminated with asbestos.

The family leasing the house believes there is exposed asbestos in the house and in a shed on a neighboring property.

The family approached the local council but reportedly received no help. They eventually turned to building inspection company Jim’s Building Inspections to assess the property and verify the existence of asbestos.

Inspector Phil Smallman quickly found asbestos on the site after an initial inspection. He has sent the sample to a lab for tests.

“Once we have the results back from the lab we hope that the landlord and rental agencies will enable the family to break the lease, or provide alternative accommodation whilst the asbestos is removed,” Smallman said.

The family is currently attempting to work with the property agent to break the lease– however, if they are prohibited they will bring a case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Smallman is also worried about the dangers of the adjoining shed on the neighbouring property.

“We believe the family living there, who are also probably renters, have recently arrived in Australia and may not be aware of the dangers.”

“Our clients say they are often outside playing cricket against the shed and the ball is constantly pounding and damaging the cladding. If it is asbestos this is very dangerous,” he said.

Smallman added that Jim’s Building Inspections will help with notifying neighbouring occupants, the owners of the neighbouring property, as well as the local council, as he feels someone needs to take responsibility.

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Source: http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/victoria/suspected-asbestos-property-in-melbourne-s-west/2013091765091

Education Minister to Investigate Delayed Asbestos Report

asbestos Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek will investigate claims that there was a long delay in reporting an asbestos discovery at a Brisbane state school.

Thus far, part of the grounds at the Graceville State School have been restricted or closed off until repairs are finished and further testing is conducted.

A recent meeting at the school revealed that asbestos was discovered in May but a report was not filed with Educations Queensland until this month.

Lanbroek states the matter will be closely investigated.

“It would be a question for everyone if any asbestos is found and located, then it’s really important of course that we lock down the situation as the principal did yesterday and then investigate it,” he said.

“We’ll make sure we look into the details of what happened at that parents and community meeting and make sure we advise everyone of the circumstances.”

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/minister-to-probe-delayed-asbestos-report-at-brisbane-school/4968070

Asbestos Training: Mayor Believes No one Was Put at Risk

asbestos trainingRumours that a community in regional NSW was consistently exposed to deadly asbestos waste because of council safety breaches, have been shot down by Gwydir mayor John Coulton as “unfair and misleading”.

Asbestos Disease Foundation president Barry Robson made a trip to Warialda to investigate allegations that workers had been exposed to asbestos fibres during a water pipe replacement project earlier in the year.

Some report that council management had advised staff to describe broken asbestos sheeting as “general waste” when it was dumped in an effort to avoid higher charges.

Robson has no doubts that staff needed better training, and called on WorkCover and the NSW environmental Protection Authority to look into the matters.

Robson called it “completely unacceptable” that workers  and community members in suburban streets were being put at risk.

Coulton stated that he was confident that no staff  or community members were put at risk of asbestos exposure. He added that he had “no knowledge” of any safety breaches at the dump site. 

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Source: http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/mayor-confident-no-one-was-endangered-during-asbes/2031915/

Former Council Workers Alleges Asbestos Cover Up Requests

A former northwestern NSW council worker has alleged that he was told to cover up dumped asbestos with green waste and garbage.

Mark Sankey revealed that he worked at landfill sites for Gwydir Shire Council between 2008 and March this year.

On several occasions he reported that he was asked to conceal the dumped asbestos with garbage and green waste and push it into walls or even burn it.

“When I was first in that job I was exposed to asbestos many, many times,” he told AAP on Wednesday.

“They would ask me to just push the asbestos under the garbage so people couldn’t see it.”

He said only two landfills in the area were locked, which made it easy to dump overnight.

He began to question the requests after receiving asbestos removal training.

“When I asked questions they threatened me with my job.”

In March, Mr Sankey said he was made redundant after being told his skills were no longer required.

Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton stated, “The council is confident that no staff member or member of the public has been endangered during the water pipe replacement program in Warialda,” he said in a statement.

WorkCover NSW and the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have both pledged to investigate the matters.

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Source: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/09/25/council-worker-asked-cover-asbestos

Asbestos Dust Cloud Worries Kimberly School Parents

Parents have kept their children from a remote Kimberley school after an old asbestos building was demolished within the vicinity.

An angry Jacinta Monck, a mother of four, pulled her kids out of a Beagle Bay school after a section of its ceiling collapsed as the water-spray method was being used to prevent particles from becoming airborne. This resulted in a huge dust cloud that children were potentially exposed to on their recesses outside.

“There was a loud bang and a dust cloud had risen above the building being demolished,” Ms Monck said.

“The children were all ushered into the classroom and two of the school’s employees ran over to say ‘please stop work’.

“From that, it came that they would only work after school hours for the asbestos removal.”

Ms Monck was aware the work was going to take place, but no date was provided.

“I was not told about what happened until I got home (last Monday) because I live on an outstation on the Dampier Peninsula,” Ms Monck said. “I was shocked and pulled my children out for the rest of the week.”

“My thing is not with the contractors, it is with the timing of the whole thing – school holidays are just two weeks away. No one had any forethought.”

An incident report has been prepared for the Shire of Broome.

Mining and Pastoral Member Stephen Dawson has written to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs  to call for a work-stop order on the site.

Mr Dawson stated in the letter that dismantling of the structure risked the health of children and urged a postponement on the works until school holidays.

“This will ensure that students are not necessarily taken out of school as the community becomes increasingly concerned for their children’s welfare,” he wrote.

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/18878028/asbestos-dust-cloud-threatens-beagle-bay-school/

Council Worried About Railway through Asbestos Town

A Pilbara council has cited health concerns regarding Rio Tinto’s plan to build a railway in close proximity to an asbestos-contaminated former town of Wittenoom.

The town was declared unfit for habitation because of the heavy presence of blue asbestos which was mined in the town until the late 1960s.

The Shire of Ashburton is concerned workers may be at risk, and wants to be free of litigation if the railway construction goes forward.

The line would link Rio’s Koodaideri project to its existing rail line. Koodaideri may become one of the biggest Pilbara’s iron ore mines, with over 70 million tonnes exported annually.

However some analysts believe the project’s US$ 3.2 billion cost may cause delays.

An Environmental Protection Authority spokesman said Rio’s Koodaideri project was being assessed at the highest level before a report went to the Environment Minister.

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 Source:  http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/18939151/asbestos-fears-over-pilbara-rail-plan/

Asbestos Training: Cottages To Be Removed Following Community Outcry

Crunch  time is finally drawing near for the three derelict asbestos cottages at Huskisson.

After years of campaigning by the community and numerous court cases by council to force the owners to remove the buildings, action is finally being taken.

The property owners, who live abroad, have not complied with Land and Environment Court orders to remove the buildings.

The court orders provided provision for council to move in after a considerable period of time and do the work.

Shoalhaven City Council development building manager Bob Goldspring said that time had come and gone.

“Council would now start obtaining quotes and get a contractor in to demolish the buildings and remove the material,” he said.

Chairman of the Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice Garry Kelson would not be surprised if Shoalhaven ratepayers end up footing the bill to demolish the three asbestos cottages in Huskisson.

However he would rather see the derelict buildings on Murdoch Street removed now and let the courts chase the owners for the money later.

“We have been lobbying to have these buildings removed on the grounds of safety for three years,” he said.

“We are heading into prime holiday time. We also have the Hobie World Championships coming up and these houses are right next to Moona Moona Creek which is a very popular picnic area, particularly with families.

“The buildings have been trashed and with the recent dry and windy weather who knows how much asbestos has been blowing around.”

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Source: http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/1772944/council-moves-on-huskissons-asbestos-cottages/?cs=203

Court Orders $327,000 Payout For Asbestos Victim

Asbestos TrainingBy court order, a former power station worker is expected to be paid  $327,000 in compensation for asbestos exposure which resulted in Mesothelioma.

Allan Geyer is dying from the asbestos-caused disease after being exposed to the deadly substance at the Electricity Trust of South Australia (now Resi Corporation). He was was employed by the power station for over 30 years as a welder and boiler maker.

The District Court found ETSA was cognasant of the danger and are therefore liable for exemplary damages under the state’s Dust Diseases Act.

Annie Hoffman, Geyer’s solicitor stated that the man was relieved to have reached a result from the case.

“Mr Geyer was actually starting chemotherapy treatment the day that we received the judgment, so he was quite emotional when I gave him the call to tell him that he’d won the case against ETSA,” she said.

The award of $327,000 included $20,000 in exemplary damages, a provision allowed under the Act when a plaintiff can prove there was a known risk of exposure to asbestos.

Terry Miller of the Asbestos Victims Association embraced the judgement.

“Many thousands of ETSA employees up until the 1990s were exposed to asbestos dust in power stations around the state,” he said.

“This decision shows that ETSA knew of the dangers of exposure to asbestos and did not tell or protect its workers.

“People like Mr Geyer are dying as a result.”

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-04/former-power-station-worker-wins-asbestos-disease-payout/4934122

Bellevue Hill School Closed Once Again For Asbestos Risk

Asbestos concerns have struck Bellevue Hill once again, after a fragment of fibro material was discovered at a local primary school’s children’s playground.

Bellevue Hill Public School issued an email to parents last week, alerting them of the asbestos discovery. This is the second time this year that the playground has been investigated for asbestos contamination. In March, similar small fibro fragments were discovered at the site.

An Education Department spokeswoman said the playground will be closed off to students until further notice.

Anna Starostina’s children frequently use the playground. She said “It came as quite a shock to hear it had happened again because we had been assured by council that the site had been cleared,” she said.

“It hasn’t been that long since it happened the first time- I just hope something hasn’t been overlooked, because this material is just sitting on the surface, right where the kids play.”

Asbestos tests  on the most recent sample were revealed to be positive for asbestos.

A council spokeswoman said that given the isolated fragment had been safely removed and with further investigation of the site under way, there was no need to close the playground at this stage.

“We will take advice from the consultants and if we need to take further action we will,” she said.

“If we are advised of any risk to public safety we will move quickly to close the playground.”

Woollahra Council will conduct weekly inspections of all its park and recreation sites.

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Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/city-east/asbestos-puts-bellevue-hill-playground-out-of-bounds/story-fngr8h22-1226717017968

 

Asbestos Training: Three Brisbane Schools Face Asbestos Scare

Three Schools in Brisbane are now faced with asbestos concerns amid revelations that construction workers digging trenches at Graceville State Primary school found asbestos 

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek says alerts have been sent out to the parents of students at Sandgate High School and Rainworth State School regarding recent asbestos concerns.

Langbroek  stated that parents, faculty, and students have all been kept in the loop regarding the safety risk.

Langbroek says clear measures are used to deal with any asbestos issues in schools; such as closing off areas, and obtaining the services of professionals to conduct air and soil tests.

Regarding the Graceville case, Langbroek says that two very small discrete pieces of the deadly material were identified and subsequent tests revealed that asbestos particles were not spread throughout those areas.

He says in the Graceville case, two very small, discreet pieces of asbestos have been identified.

Mr Langbroek says there’s a very large amount of asbestos in Queensland schools, dating back to the 1950s.

“We do remove (it). Over last financial year and this financial year, we have a budget of $40 million to go towards removing asbestos,” he said.

“Given the amount of asbestos there though, it’s a small amount. But it’s something that’s at least planned and structured compared to what was happening when I first came into parliament in 2004.”

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Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/asbestos-scares-at-three-brisbane-schools/story-fn3dxiwe-1226718286962

Asbestos Removal: AWA Concerned With Disposal Risks

Asbestos TrainingThe Asbestos Awareness Association has cautioned young people about the dangerous associated with the killer building material.

President of the local AWA group Geoff Maul is concerned that expensive safe disposal  methods are enticing  young DIY renovators to under take risky jobs.

Maul has subsequently called for government subsidies on asbestos removal and disposal.

“Ninety-five per cent of the houses in the north, not just Port Augusta, would have asbestos somewhere in them,” he said.

“They should do something to encourage people to safely dump asbestos.”

In Port Augusta, non-friable asbestos can be disposed of at the  TPI Waste Transfer Station. However, it needs to be wrapped and sealed in black plastic and only then will it be removed at a cost starting at $133.50/half tonne and $267 per tonne.  However, SafeWork SA recommends using a license asbestos contractor, which can make the process significantly more expensive

However the removal of asbestos can be far more costly with SafeWok SA recommending the use of a licensed asbestos contractor.

Port Augusta City Council director of infrastructure Hayden Hart said “The disposal of asbestos need not be a daunting experience, it can be easily and affordably disposed of at the Footner Road Waste Transfer Station,”

“I also strongly encourage anyone considering removing asbestos from their home to read through the SafeWork SA guide, which is a great source of information.”

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Source: http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/1766292/awa-concerned-with-asbestos-disposal/?cs=1286

ACT Gov’t Staff Shaken After Asbestos Scare

Asbestos TrainingStaff at an ACT government directorate are shaken after a member of the public brought a bag of the of the deadly substance asbestos, in to their office.

A spokesperson for  the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate revealed that a ”small sealed bag allegedly containing asbestos”  was smuggled into the directorate’s offices at Dame Pattie Menzies House.

The member of the public reportedly walked in with the bag on August 30, in order to confirm whether the substance was asbestos prior to leaving. Preliminary tests revealed that the substance was indeed asbesgtos.

The spokeswoman said: ”The directorate took immediate steps to ensure that the material was isolated and the area made safe.”

The police was informed and the material was removed immediately.

”Appropriate experts … were immediately contacted including the police … the Environment Protection Authority, and an independent expert to undertake testing and removal of the material. The work areas were given the ‘all clear’ the next day by the independent expert.”

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/asbestos-query-sparks-emergency-action-in-govt-office-20130910-2tikr.html#ixzz2ejqwNg4b

Asbestos Training: Law Changes For Home Asbestos Victims

asbestos trainingProposed amendments to the laws pertaining to home asbestos victims may make it easier for them to seek compensation.

The potential changes would reform common law compensation for asbestos victims and their families not covered by workers comp– including home renovators.

President of the Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation, Simon Cocker, called for improvements to compensation levels, and the time limits to apply for damages.  Cocker recalled that companies had used the deadly material for decades in Tasmania housing prior to knowing it was a serious health risk.

“Tasmania has had a number of people die and suffer due to asbestos illness,” he said.

“We know that there is going to be more and we think that the system should deliver fair and reasonable compensation to these people, and it hasn’t.”

Mr Cocker remarked on the importance of providing home asbestos victims with fair compensation.

“People have been poisoned by asbestos for 40 years in Tasmania and it’s only fair and reasonable that they should have access to common law compensation if they don’t have a workers compensation claim.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-22/law-changes-proposed-to-help-home-asbestos-victions-seek-compen/4905158

Asbestos Training: Asbestos Dump Discovered in Bucca Bush

asbestos trainingBushwalkers have made an unsettling discovery in bushland near Bucca.

A heap of dumped asbestos sheeting has been uncovered in the Blackbutt Natural Regrowth area.

Local WIRES volunteer Arlene Hope stated that the deadly building material was discovered in the bush early last week.

“We could not believe someone could be so criminally irresponsible,” Ms Hope said.

“Dumping asbestos carelessly like that poses all sorts of dangers to the public and potentially wildlife.

The culprits responsible are subject to a fine of up to $1-million for the illegal dumping of the hazardous material.

An inspection of the site  revealed that the dumping had been done very recently. Those responsible would’ve traveled along the Bucca road so investigations are being conducted.

NSW Forestry, the Coffs Harbour City Council and State Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser  has been informed of the incident and inquiries are ongoing.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/asbestos-found-dumped-bush-bucca/2001083/

Asbestos Training:Elderly Man Awarded Damages For Asbestos Exposure

asbestos trainingAn 85-year old man has been granted over $320,000 in damages following a judges ruling that he has been suffering from mesothelioma which was caused by asbestos exposure.

Between 1957 and 1988 Allan Charles Geyer was a boiler maker and supervisor at South Australia’s Playford Power Stations  and it is believed that it was here that he came in contact with asbestos dust and fibres.

Judge Bill Jennings said it was probable that Geyer would succumb to the disease within the next year and set total damages at $327,474.

“The medical evidence establishes that the invariable course of the disease will be an increase in the size of the tumour, increasing shortness of breath, weight loss and depression, increasing pain and … ultimately death,” the judge said.

He said Mr Geyer’s employer during this time was conscious of  risks posed by asbestos from the early 1970s and while the company took limited measures to ensure safety, it was inadequate.

More info on Asbestos Training
Source: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/man-awarded-damages-over-asbestos-link/story-e6frfku9-1226707754131#ixzz2dUKhfjp9

Asbestos Training: Deadly Material Found at Winstone Factory

asbestos trainingFletcher Building’s Winstone Wallboards is tentatively closed following the discovery of asbestos traces in the Christchurch building.

An outside testing agency informed the company last week that asbestos had been found and the site was to be closed down entirely as a safety precaution and to allow for further testing.

The company expects the results of the additional testing to be released shortly, and the plant is expected to open later this week.

“The company is not aware of any related health symptoms, however as a precaution, health checks will be made available to employees and contractors,” Winston Wallboards general manager David Thomas said.

“It is understood the traces of asbestos originate from the roof and that those traces are likely to have been contained within the manufacturing building.”

Staff and contractors were warned of the risks and asked to stay clear of the affected areas until the site is open once again.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.news.com.au/business/breaking-news/asbestos-found-in-winstone-factory/story-e6frfkur-1226704796478#ixzz2dUG23aHc

Kindergarten Closed After Asbestos Discovery

A kindergarten in Warragul has been closed for the time being, following the discovery of asbestos.

Specialists removed the deadly material from oen of the locations but the site will remain closed until the other two locations have been made safe.

The Baw Baw Shire Council said the two sites were not intact , nor were they an active part of the centre where children or staff are at risk.

“To mitigate any chance of inadvertent exposure during the ongoing renovations it was deemed in the best interest of everyone to suspend kinder activities at the site until this additional asbestos could be removed,” the shire said in a statement.

The council is collaborating with the builder, the site supervisor and an independent asbestos assessor to remove the asbestos as swiftly as possible and it is anticipated children will return to kinder on Thursday.

More info on Asbestos training

 Source: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/08/20/580382_national-news.html

AlertForce Becomes WorkSafe WA Approved Asbestos Unrestricted License Provider

For Immediate Release

August 25,2013

Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, has recently become a WorkSafe WA approved provider of  Asbestos unrestricted licenses.

In Western Australia (WA) an unrestricted asbestos licence is needed for a business or an employer  conducting work involving the removal of friable asbestos or asbestos-containing material (ACM). No other employees regardless of any-related training, can partake in this type of asbestos-removal without an unrestricted license. AlertForce is now able to provide it’s much lauded  training and expertise to those interested in this crucial certification.

Friable asbestos is the type of asbestos that can be found in powder form, crumbled, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.This type of asbestos cannot legally be removed by a person who does not have a Class A  asbestos licence. This trained professional would be well-versed in the various methods of properly dealing with friable-asbestos (such as the wet spray method used to remove the material from structures and plants). Upon removing any ACM, the licensed entity must promptly inform WorkSafe Western Australia.Since friable asbestos is often found in powder form, it can be the most dangerous forms of the material, and could even become air-borne; extending the risk far beyond the confines of a business.

In order to apply for the unrestricted license, the license holder must submit an application fee, an asbestos removal work procedures manual, an asbestos removal work training manual; and a host of other requirements needed to support one’s application.

We at Alertforce are so excited to finally be able to provide the unrestricted-license for asbestos removal to Western Australia. We relish in any opportunity to help ensure the wellbeing of our nation’s workers and the community– especially when dealing with the dangers of friable asbestos! “ . Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

More information on Asbestos Training can be found here

Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face-to-face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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Asbestos Training:NBN Rollout Delayed

asbestos trainingThe company responsible for the National Broadband Network (NBN) has attained the services of accounting firm Erns & Young. The firm will look into status of the rollout, following the  asbestos discovery that occurred at a few sites. The issues are expected to  o delay the  process by  approximately 3 months.

Ernst & Young have been commissioned by NBN to test their own business plan against forecasts released in May and June.

Although the delay on work at the Telstra pits may be delayed by a few months, it is reported that it did not affect the project’s costs and revenues.

NBN Co drafted a corporate plan to submit to the federal government, but they advised them that the draft would need to be revised once the impact of the safety issue was fully examined.

The delay essentially guarantees  the corporate plan will not released ahead of the  the September 7 federal election.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/8/14/telecommunications/asbestos-delay-nbn-rollout

Council Calls For Care In Asbestos Disposal

asbestosThe Rockhampton Regional Council is imploring residents to be more cautious after asbestos was supposedly improperly dumped at a council site.

The council found suspected asbestos improperly dumped at a bin station, approximately six times in one week.

Councillor Neil Fisher believes the  quantity hints that the material is from a building site.

“Either a home renovator or a builder that are taking off fibro sheet or asbestos cement sheet off a building site but rather than going to Rockhampton landfill and disposing of them appropriately, what’s happening is they’re actually coming in and just dumping them straight on the ground in the bin station,” he said.

He says people unsure should speak to refer to the council’s waste disposal staff

“If you’ve got a query and you’re not quite sure if that material that you’re taking to the dump could be suspected of being asbestos or not, just enquire at the waste station,” he said.

“The council staff are very, very helpful and will give you the advice that you need.”

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-12/improper-asbestos-dumping-sparks-warning/4879716

Asbestos Training: New Hope For Patients With Cancer Caused By Asbestos

asbestos trainingAustralian scientists may be on the brink of a historical breakthrough for people who suffer from the deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Mesolthelioma affects only a fraction of people exposed to the deadly substance, but it is fairly common in Australia with 650 new cases per year.

The disease, which is currently incurable, takes approximately 35 years to emerge, and kills with in 18 months of diagnosis.

Preliminary tests with the treatment have reportedly been very promising, with remarkable results in tests on mice with malignant mesothelioma.

Institute director Professor Nico van Zandwijk and his team are currently working towards being able to test the treatment on human subjects.  First stage trials at the end of 2013 will determine the optimal and safe dose.

Professor van Zandwijk says he does not want to raise false hope, but he is cautiously optimistic the treatment will work.

”I think the whole concept is sound and we feel very reassured,” he said.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/asbestos-cancer-breakthrough-20130731-2qzk8.html#ixzz2ao38Q793

Monitors Hired to Head Asbestos Removal Process

asbestos removal in progress signOver a dozen monitors are expected to be hired to check the removal process of asbestos in Telstra pits prior to handing a report into the independent Asbestos Taskforce.

This initiative  was formed in conjunction with the IAT, will ensure that work on the NBN rollout where asbestos is a risk, is handing in a safe manner that safeguards employees, contractors, and the local community.

The taskforce  launched by Australian Government in June to in response to the asbestos scare caused during the Telstra NBN Rollout.

Asbestos training is being provided to all Telstra employees. Any personnel working in Telstra pits will be properly trained in asbestos removal and handling of asbestos-containing materials.

Telstra and NBN Co have also confirmed that they are close to releasing their competency card that employees, contractors and subcontractors will have to keep on their persons in order certify they are fully trained.

All work on pits with asbestos risks present, will continue once the training has been completed.

The taskforce has come together on several occasions, and is headed by Geoff Fary (Chair, Asbestos Management Review). The taskforce’s membership includes representatives from Telstra, NBN Co, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA), Comcare, industry unions, asbestos community groups and WHS experts.

Source: http://www.sia.org.au/browse.aspx?ContentID=issue180-news5

Camden Pleas for Greater Asbestos Powers

asbestosCamden Council is pleading for  stronger powers in order to deal with  asbestos problems, and to deliver harsher penalties for people who neglect clean up orders.

The plea emerged as the council currently pursues two homeowners whoit claims have thus far failed to remove asbestos that is exposed on their properties.

The council has been in contact with the Camden property owner since a house fire earlier this year uncovered asbestos. The council subsequently contacted the owner and their insurance company to have it removed.

Mayor Lara Symkowiak said the council’s instructions for the asbestos to be removed have since been ignored.

she did not deny the possibility of the council removing the asbestos and recovering its costs from the homeowner.

“This is an extreme situation and is not council’s preferred method of dealing with the matter,” she said.

“The costs associated with the clean up of asbestos can be high and the responsibility for compliance should rest with the owner of the site.

“Council is awaiting a response from the mortgagee for the supply of specialist reports undertaken as part of the investigations on this site to gauge the extent of works that may be required, should the work not be undertaken in the immediate future.

“Council is committed to ensuring the safety of our community, especially where asbestos is involved.”

More info on asbestos training

Source:http://www.camdenadvertiser.com.au/story/1626665/need-for-powers-on-asbestos/?cs=1184

Renovators Warned About Asbestos Dangers

asbestosMaitland home renovators will be central in a campaign about the dangers of asbestos found within walls of many of the city’s pre-1987 houses.

Asbestos  is often found lurking beneath floor coverings, behind walls and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings, eaves, garages, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions, outdoor toilets and even dog kennels and backyard sheds.

Betty the educational mobile home, along with volunteers Geoff and Karen Wicks, will visit Maitland on Tuesday to highlight the various dangers of home renovation.

They will demonstrate the surprising  locations where asbestos is sometimes found in homes

Betty is the of her kind and helped launch the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute in partnership with the Asbestos Education Committee.

Betty;s tour will see her travel 1800 kilometres in 16 days.

Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world because it was one of the top consumers of asbestos and its products in the 20th century. Almost every home built or renovated before 1987 is likely to contain asbestos, while one in three homes contains the deadly substance

More info on Asbestos training

Source: http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/1647281/renovators-warned-of-asbestos/?cs=171

Alabanese Closely Monitors NBN Asbestos Situation

asbestosActing Prime minister Anthony Albanese assured that strict safety procedures  being implemented to deal with handle any  further uncovered asbestos  during the National Broadband Network rollout.

Albanese was in Coffs Harbour where he referenced the asbestos scare in Coffs Harbour and any repeat incident will be managed with great care.

“Each and every time there’s a project in which asbestos is present, it needs to be managed according to best occupational health and safety practice.” he said.

“This is not an issue that will be dealt with over a day or a week, this is an issue that is dealt with whenever you deal with infrastructure.”

Mr Albanese said the NBN can have a significant impact on education and healthcare.

“Now just think about the silly debate that goes on about costs,” he said.

“The costs of hospitalisation, the costs of trips to the GP, the costs of nurses going to the home to look after people.

“That’s why this is such a no brainer, this is about saving money, not spending money.”

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-05/close-watch-for-asbestos-in-nbn-rollout/4802052

Library Closes Amidst Asbestos Scare

asbestos trainingThe Alice Springs Library has been closed following an asbestos scare.

The town’s Mayor  revealed that a pocket of encapsulated asbestos was found on Thursday while workmen were installing a new airconditioner unit.

Damien Ryan reported that an environmental company spent Friday testing the entire library and its contents for asbestos contamination

Fortunately the results were found to be negative but the library will remain closed for another week until the asbestos has been removed.

“I’d like to encourage all of our library borrowers who have got books that are due to be returned to hang on to them for another week because the delivery box on the side of the library, that room is now full from people returning things but we can’t get staff in there,” he said.

*Update*

The Alice Springs Library will not reopen at least until next week

Greg Buxton from the Alice Springs Town Council says it is a long and complex process to ensure the building is now safe.

“A very tedious process,” he said.

“I mean not only do you have to remove the material, you’ve got to clean down everything in there and wipe down all wires and tracks and ceilings and things like that, so it’s quite a complicated, long process.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-08/asbestos-scare-closes-alice-library/4806020

Asbestos Training: Comm. Minister Says NBN Rollout Targets Being Met

Danger Asbestos Warning SignComm. Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that the  National Broadband Network (NBN) targets are being met, with over207,000 properties now ready for connection.

At an NBN rollout event, Albanese revealed that over one million homes and businesses are, or are in the process of being, connected to the NBN.

The initial target was for more than 340,000 premises to be ready to connect by the end of June, but that was later reduced to between 190,000-220,000 properties.

Albanese promised that any further asbestos issues in connection with the rollout will be handled with the utmost care.

Albanese stated that any time there is a presence of asbestos in any project, it needs to be managed according to occupational health and safety practice.

“This is not an issue that will be dealt with over a day or a week, this is an issue that is dealt with whenever you deal with infrastructure development.” he said.

“Whether it be a large infrastructure project, such as the National Broadband Network, or whether it be someone fixing up a suburban house who wants to change their car garage.”

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-04/federal-government-meets-nbn-roll-out-targets/4800182

Telstra Returns To Work Amidst Asbestos Concerns

asbestos Telstra has resumed work on its  NSW telecommunication pits following the asbestos scare at National Broadband Network (NBN) sites which halted all operations last month.

In a recent statement Telstra said it would resume the ‘replacement and repair of telecommunication pits associated with the provision of essential services’.

However, the work will only includerestoration and repair work associated with incidents i.e  cable-cuts leading to outages and loss of basic services, Telstra said.

Every task will be reportedly conducted by licensed removalists.

A spokeswoman said the work is not being done at asbestos-contaminated NBN pits.

No confirmation was given as to how sites would be subject to repair work.

‘It’s only a handful – a very small number (of pits) in NSW,’ the spokeswoman told AAP.

‘We’re not resuming NBN work today. This is very limited, essential emergency work.’

Remediation work on Telstra’s NBN sites was halted  over three months ago when it was discovered that many were  contaminated with asbestos that had not been handled properly.

‘This is the first time we’ve started to do anything since we announced the stoppage of all work at the end of May,’ said the spokeswoman.

Telstra contractors are still undergoing retraining for asbestos management.

 

Architect Denies Asbestos Reports

asbestos trainingAn architect for a work site has denied reports by union reps that asbestos was discovered at the Darwin work site.

The four-storey Paspaley Building has been under demolition for the last few weeks in preparation for building the 18 or 20-storey Charles Darwin Centre on the corner of Smith and Bennett streets.

The building’s height  has not yet been determined.

Chief Minister Adam Giles had planned a staged media walk-through of the site for lunchtime, but cancelled it at 11.25am.

Officials from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said they took samples from the site at 8am today and sent them for laboratory examination this morning, which they said identified them as chrysotile, or “white asbestos”.

But building architect Ross Connolly said Worksafe NT has declared the site safe and that the union was “stirring the pot”.

“They allegedly discovered some asbestos sheet,” he said.

He said the material found was harmless cellulose fibre cement.

“Worksafe has confirmed that the material found was not asbestos,” he said.

Worksafe has been contacted for comment.

He said the site had been certified asbestos-free by a certified removalist who removed asbestos from the remains of the three buildings about four or five weeks ago.

“Clearly when you do an asbestos register there’s always the risk that there might be some asbestos that might be not evident at the time the register was prepared,” he said.

“The contract for the removal makes it incumbent on the operator to obviously deal with anything that turns up in the removal process.

“There’s a later risk that when you demolish a floor slab or something underneath, given that we’re talking about a part of the town that was around in the war, there could be some asbestos sheeting in the soil underneath the building that was neither undiscoverable at the time of the asbestos register preparation nor at the removal.”

He said there was protocol for any asbestos discovery by workers, and that no reports had been made by workers to the site manager.

Mr Connolly has said work has resumed, but the union has said the site was shut.

CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham said the site was “riddled” with asbestos.

“I can tell you we’ve better things to do than stir the pot and turn up on sites,” he said.

“If they were resolute why did they shut the site?” CFMEU official Ben Laokes said they found 10cm x 10cm sheets of material on the site.

“The document provided to us saying the asbestos was removed but then you walk through and see sheeting everywhere,” he said.

“It didn’t take us long to find it. We took four steps into the site and we found it. It’s all broken up.

“The workers there had concerns about it.”

Asbestos was used as a fire retardant building material until it was banned in 1989 because of health risks from inhaling asbestos fibres.

The Paspaley Building is understood to have been built in the early 1980s or earlier.

more info on asbestos training

Source: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/06/19/322033_ntnews.html

Builder Faces Prosecution For Asbestos Risk to Family

The Canberra builder accused of exposing a young family to asbestos is the subject of an investigation by WorkSafe ACT which could turn into a  prosecution.

The ACT government could potentially strip the business’ licence if it is discovered that employees worked with the deadly substance without permission.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe is seeking to implement $5000 on-the-spot fines for builders who dodo not properly dispose of asbestos.

He stated that the case was such a serious breach of the Work Health and Safety Act that the case could end up in court.

”Given the level of exposure to the family I think the public would demand prosecution if a breach of health and safety laws is proven in this case,”

The new fines will be considered as part of the ACT government’s review of the Dangerous Substances Act, which is likely to be tabled in spring, with the new fine schedule to take effect from January 1.

The family whose home was contaminated says they remain shaken by the incident which forced them out of their home for three weeks after the builder, hired to renovate their bathroom, used angle grinders to cut through asbestos sheeting in the house.

The family was living in the home at the time cleaned the asbestos from surfaces in the living area and kitchen, unaware of the danger the family were in until alerted by a neighbour, who called WorkSafe.

Mr McCabe on Monday confirmed the company involved in the incident was being probed by the organisation’s serious incidents investigations team. McCabe stated that if the builder was found to have breached the WHS Act, the consequences could be quite severe. Serious breaches of the act often result in large fines and incarceration for company directors, he said.

Approximately 120 of the family’s personal items had reportedly been contaminated and had been destroyed, and that the builder had refused to refund the family’s $6000 deposit or to provide compensation.

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/asbestos-builder-faces-prosecution-20130612-2o50j.html#ixzz2X0rrjxjj

Paspaley Building to Undergo Asbestos Test

asbestos training

Samples from the Paspaley Building site have been sent in for tests by an  independent inspector.

The four-storey building has been under demolition for several weeks in preparation for building the 18-storey Charles Darwin Centre on the corner of Smith and Bennett streets.

Union officials discovered positively identified traces of white asbestos on the site late last month.

However, builders say all asbestos  was carefully removed from the site and that the union was causing trouble  and maybe even planted the substance.The original removalists checked the site again and found nothing.

Building architect Ross Connolly yesterday said Worksafe NT reported the site as  safe and said the union was “stirring the pot”.

“They allegedly discovered some asbestos sheet,” he said.

“Worksafe has confirmed that the material found was not asbestos,”

He said  the site was certified as free of asbestos by a certified removalist who removed the deadly substance from the building several weeks ago.

“Clearly when you do an asbestos register there’s always the risk that there might be some asbestos that might be not evident at the time the register was prepared,” he said.

“The contract for the removal makes it incumbent on the operator to obviously deal with anything that turns up in the removal process.

“There’s a later risk that when you demolish a floor slab or something underneath, given that we’re talking about a part of the town that was around in the war, there could be some asbestos sheeting in the soil underneath the building that was neither undiscoverable at the time of the asbestos register preparation nor at the removal.”

CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham said the site was “riddled” with asbestos.

“I can tell you we’ve better things to do than stir the pot and turn up on sites,” he said.

“If they were resolute why did they shut the site?” CFMEU official Ben Laokes said they found 10cm x 10cm sheets of material on the site.

“The document provided to us saying the asbestos was removed but then you walk through and see sheeting everywhere,” he said.

“It didn’t take us long to find it. We took four steps into the site and we found it. It’s all broken up.

“The workers there had concerns about it.”

More info on asbestos training

Source: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/06/20/322033_ntnews.html

 

Minister Vows To Keep School Open Following Asbestos Scare

asbestos trainingEducation Minister Martin Dixon has vowed to keep the western Victoria open despite the recent asbestos scare.

The Timboon Prep to 12 School was cleared out of all personnel and students ] when following WorkSafe’s closure notice after discovering asbestos and peeling lead paint.

Fortunately, tests revealed that students and teachers were not exposed to airborne asbestos.

Despite reports earlier this year that the school would be permanently closed, Dixon promised that will not happen.

“The school’s definitely not going to close,” he said.

“It’s a great school. It’s a great community and when you look at where the school is situated within the broader community, it’s a vital hub and I can assure the community that the future of the school is very very bright.”

The closure order has since been lifted and classes have resumed normally. The asbestos and paint will be dealt with over the holidays.

Principal Rosalie Moorfield says the school community has been very supportive during the closure.

“This has probably been a pretty low week for the Timboon community,” she said.

“But at the end of that, strong bonds have been formed and a real passion to make sure that our facilities are the facilities that we deserve, has certainly been ignited.”

More info on Asbestos Training

 Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-28/asbestos-order-lifted-on-closure-of-timboon-school/4786734?section=vic

Telstra Uncovers More Asbestos-Contaminated Soil

asbestosTelstra has once again discovered asbestos  in the soil scattered throughout its telecommunications pits in Sydney’s west.

In Junem Telstra shut down its asbestos removal program at telecommunications pits throughout the nation after concerns were raised that community had been exposed to the deadly fibres during remediation work.

Penrith was one of the sites first to be shut down  and several members of the community were forced to evacuate their homes.

Telstra has since finished the clean-up work at five pits in the area but the inspections of  16 others, found more asbestos in the soil.

Telstra says 11 other pits throughout the area will be cleaned up by this week.

In a statement, the telco said it is uncertain whether the asbestos contamination came from the pits.

A review by Telstra this month revealed that key contractors needed more supervision and better supplies. .

Telstra’s chief operations officer Brendon Riley  said the company will ensure that all mandatory standards are met by all staff.

Asbestos was often used in the 1980’s as a building material. It has since been prohibited to use, but remains a rising cause of death.

More on asbestos training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-25/telstra-uncovers-more-asbestos-contaminated-soil-around-pits-in/4779746?section=nsw

Parents Fear Asbestos Risk For Bondi Public School Students

asbestos trainingAn asbestos removal company is attempting to alleviate the concerns of parents at Bondi Public School by informing them that material in trucks parked across the school is not a danger to students.

Concerned parents reported that trucks containing the deadly material were regularly parked opposite Wellington St school for approximately six months.

Asbestos Removal Sydney owner Wade Rogers confirmed the trucks held asbestos, but said that the school community was safe because the fibres were contained within sheets of cement.

But Bondi Public parent Michelle Stone was horrified at the prospect of these trucks being close to her children.

“In the 21st century, it’s completely unacceptable for any company to allow an uncovered, unsecure truck in a residential zone outside a school, full of bags containing asbestos waste,” she said.

“It is grossly irresponsible and the company needs to act immediately to remove what is a legitimate and serious threat to the health of hundreds of children.”

Another parent Allan Moore reported split open bags, while others were not taped closed.

Upon investigation  a ranger found that the asbestos was bonded and unlikely to break down and not considered harmful.

Any potential risk was further decreased by recent rain.

This assessment was supported by a later WorkCover inspection.

“Nevertheless, council and the mayor were very concerned about the presence of asbestos in a public place, and the ranger contacted the truck owner and asked them to move it,” the spokeswoman said.

“The owner of the truck undertook to move it this morning.

“Council is treating the matter seriously and will continue to follow up with WorkCover and the truck owner.”

More info on asbestos training

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/city-east/asbestos-scare-for-bondi-public-school-students/story-fngr8h22-1226666401138

 

 

Asbestos Training: Deadly Material Found in Paspaley building Tests

asbestos trainingNT WorkSafe has  divulged that asbestos was found in the Paspaley building at the end of the Smith St Mall in Darwin.

NT WorkSafe boss Doug Phillips said they met with the builders, Sunbuild and discussed the  findings of the sampling.

“The sampling found there were some isolated pieces of bonded asbestos,” Mr Phillips said.

“However there was no asbestos detected in the soil sampling.”

Sunbuild had once denied the existence of s any asbestos left on the site even though unions had submitted various samples that contained the deadly material.

The original asbestos removal team came up short which lead to NT WorkSafe conducting its own independent tests.

Mr Phillips said Sunbuild was recommended that they develop a management plan in consultation with licensed specialists so that work could go forward without any issues.

“Sunbuild is also required to undertake appropriate consultation with its workers and the businesses surrounding the work site and to address any concerns that the wider public may have,” he said.

Source: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/06/22/322105_ntnews.html

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Asbestos Risks Prompt Work Stoppage for Posties

asbestos trainingAustralian Postal workers  have stopped delivery of mail throughout a Sydney street,  fearing  possible asbestos contamination linked to the national broadband network (NBN) rollout.

The government-owned postal service said mail delivery to Hornseywood Avenue in Penrith was halted temporarily.

“We made that decision for the safety of our staff and after discussions with the council and WorkCover,” a spokesperson told AAP on Wednesday.

Australia Post said deliveries are will not resume until Telstra finishes their audit on the practices of contractors upgrading pits as part of the NBN rollout.

This comes as work on the NBN was suspended after a Penrith resident contacted WorkCover concerned that asbestos safety procedures weren’t being followed.

The telco hopes it will have the sites cleaned up by Thursday and is asking affected residents to give permission for a clean-up.

Residents have been told they can collect their mail from the Australia Post Nepean Business Hub.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/work-on-nbn-suspended-amid-asbestos-fears/story-fn3dxiwe-1226652881991

Kambah Family Suffers Asbestos Exposure

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.”

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/family-exposed-to-deadly-asbestos-20130517-2jsjg.html#ixzz2UNBODBuv

Asbestos Training: ComCare To Be Grilled Over Duties

The Federal Opposition believes the Government is putting Tasmanian  national broadband rollout contractors at an avoidable risk of asbestos exposure.

NBN alleges that contractors working on the rollout had not been exposed, but Electrical Trades Union is not convinced.

Unionist Michael Anderson says workers had likely been put at risk, and the federal work safety regulator CommCare has not been lapsing in its duties.

“With a risk as big as asbestos, I thought they would’ve been going to their utmost to fix it,” he said.

ComCare was poised to face senate committee.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz says it has serious questions to answer.

“We will be asking as to who is responsible,” he said.

But he already has one culprit in mind.

“Political agenda to roll out the NBN as quickly as possible ahead of people’s well-being,” Senator Abetz said.

He paralleled it to the pink batts program during the global financial crisis.

More on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-01/safety-regulator-to-be-grilled-over-asbestos-risk/4727334?section=tas

Heritage-Listed Cinema Deemed Unsafe Amidst Asbestos Dangers

The owner of Piccadilly Cinemas  has declared the  heritage-listed building “totally unsafe”  following two ceiling collapses that “narrowly missed the customers.”

Recently WorkSafe undertook a risk assessment the buildings “flaking” asbestos roof.

Veteran cinema operator Cyril Watson and his lawyer had reportedly sent a letter to the agents for the landlord pleading for urgent attention to waterproof the roof and  “safeguard and suppress the asbestos materials used in the roof”. The matters had been discussed early in a face-to-face meeting last November.

Worksafe inspectors recently visited the cinema and ordered  14 improvement notices.

One of the improvement notice called the the cinema out for breaching  Occupational Safety and Health Regulations  by failing to have an asbestos register. Watson has been until August 9 to conduct an identification and risk assessment on the asbestos and to record all data at an onsite register.

“Since that time we have had preliminary plans prepared by the conservation architect for the arcade and theatre to understand what can and cannot be done to the building. In respect of the asbestos roof … sheet asbestos roofing is a stable form of asbestos in particular when painted. Many schools in WA have this form of roofing. That is not to say we will not be replacing it when we renovate the arcade, but it is not at the point where it should be replaced immediately.”

But WA Asbestos Diseases Society president Robert Vojakovic called on the health department for urgent attention and to investigate the issues in order to ease the minds of patrons and workers alike.

Mr Vojakovic  upon seeing photos, described the site as being in a very poor state and appeared to be “friable” in places. “If the dust can reach the cinema then there is a risk,” he said. “The Department of Health or Perth City Council need to have a look at the situation. It’s a public facility; it must be free of risk.”

Roof plumber Rick Rogers, discussed the condition of the cinema stating”It is in poor condition, it’s quite flaky,” he said. “My old man died of asbestosis at 48. You are talking to a guy who is pretty paranoid.”

A Worksafe spokeswoman said inspectors didn’t see any cause for concern on the inside of the cinema because the asbestos roof is on the outside of the building.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said its officials were unaware of any issues at the Piccadilly. “Issues regarding the management of asbestos in the workplace should be directed to the Department of Commerce (WorkSafe WA),” she said. “When required, the department will assist WorkSafe by providing toxicology advice and public health risk assessments.”

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/horror-movie-right-here-in-the-cbd/story-fnhocxo3-1226650604784

Verdict Reached For 2 Year Old Asbestos Case

 A Sydney judge has finally reached a verdict two years after hearing a case against the founder of the Clean Up Israel environmental campaign. The accused was said to have been causing land and water pollution by allegedly dumping asbestos-contaminated waste on his property Wollondilly.

Justice Rachel Pepper from the Land and Environment Court admitted that the delay in the hearing against Foxman and his company was “unacceptable and regrettable”.

It has also come to light that the delay affected other prosecutions relating to the incident which subsequently stalled any development or clean up at the site since the reported 2010 dumping.

The Land and Environment Court stated their intentions to deliver most delayed judgments within three months.

”However, competing demands, complex cases and judicial leave can sometimes make this deadline unattainable,” it said.

Following eight days of hearings in February and March 2011, Justice Pepper delayed her verdict on the matter.

 Foxman and his company have been accused of unlawfully disposing of up to 35,000 tonnes of soil ridden asbestos on his Wollondilly  construction site.

Foxman attempted to defend the actions and stated that the delay had had significant effects on him and his company and it was  ”extraordinary and unjust to have to wait so long”.

”I have had no way of clearing my name and that has had a devastating effect,” he said. ”It is a horrible situation … I have not been able to put a shovel in the ground for three years.”

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Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/asbestos-verdict-in-two-years-20130518-2jtaj.html#ixzz2TyR5q8PQ

SafeWork/EPA Dish Out Notices For Asbestos Issues

Safework and the EPA have handed out a total of 74 compliance notices to 11 licensed removers after conducting a recent audit.

The notices call for improvements on a variety of matters including asbestos removal methods, safe storage and the frequency of respiratory equipment testing. 

SafeWork SA executive director Bryan Russell  revealed that this was simply the the first stage of a statewide audit of 70 licensed removalists.

“We will not be happy until asbestos is removed entirely from all workplaces but obviously that’s a long-term vision and we’re working towards ensuring that the safest possible processes are in place to manage asbestos in its current form,” he said.

Mr Russell has been pleased with cooperation most companies have had with them.

“This is not something that you would be complacent with. Asbestos is not an area that we would ever say that we are satisfied with what’s happening,” he said.

“We will remain vigilant and we expect businesses to be vigilant with respect to the management of asbestos.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-23/compliance-notices-issued-over-asbestos/4707804?section=sa

Asbestos Training: Mesothelioma and 9/11

Fallout: 9/11 and the Risk of Ground Zero

 

It is no secret the terrible attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11,2001 had many affects on the lives of New Yorkers. Over 2,500 lives were tragically taken on that day and the days to follow. Now, over ten years later, the general public is taking notice of more WTC casualities  as the nation’s first responders, and NYC residents are dying of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease.

Doctors and other experts have long predicted that the future held an onslaught of mesolthelioma cases in the NYC area which was caused by the torrent of asbestos fibres that rained down on the city’s fire fighters, police, paramedics and other local residents.  Those who remained in the city can recall that lower manhattan was covered in a grayish dust which was said to be consisted of glass shards, asbestos, lead, mercury, cadmium, dioxins and various other dangerous substances.

It is unclear how much asbestos was actually released into the air upon the demolition of the the towers’ remains. However, the WTC construction had commenced before the use of asbestos was banned. Subsequently, a spray-on asbestos fire retardant was reportedly used in the lower section of the towers. When use of asbestos was banned in 1971, the remaining areas of the towers were fitted with a different insulating material. Despite this, it is said that up to 400 tonnes of asbestos fiber was in the buildings when they collapsed.

Many first-responders developed immediate health problems such as the “The World Trade Centre Cough” .  One study  even revealed that over  85% of those who initially responded to the tragedy were suffering from some sort of respiratory illness.  Studies have shown that over 110,000 (est) people have potentially been exposed to the deadly substance. 

These same reports show that in an effort to quickly clean up debris,  proper precautions were not taken to protect workers from harm nor were standard and necessary asbestos abatement procedures followed.  

Asbestos related deaths are expected to increase drastically, not just in NY, but throughout the world as well due to it being commonly used in the past for building and construction material. As the popularity of DIY home renovation tv-series’ increase, do do the amount of people who practice it which has subsequently raised the risk of  mesothelioma and other asbestos related disease.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.mesotheliomasos.com/

 

Unions to Submit Asbestos Report on Telstra Site

Workplace safety watchdog Comcare verified reports that it is looking into various issues at the Telstra pits.

Federal Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, and companies heading the $37.4 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) out of Tasmania  are poised to receive  a report on asbestos issues related to the construction project .

Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) official David Mier recalled that approximately 85 per-cent of contractors working in asbestos ridden pits, lacked the necessary safety training.

Mier stated the lack of training by NBN co-contractor Visionstream, have left the pits exposed and liable to endanger lives.

He called for a stop-work order for the pits and ducts for areas where workers had not completed Asbestos Training courses.

Network builder NBN Co claims to be awaiting further details from the union as to whether or not the asbestos dangers exist on its sites.

Source: http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/461380/union_deliver_nbn_asbestos_report/

NBN Roll Out Work Stopped Amid Asbestos Concerns

Calls for a work stoppage on Tasmania’s NBN roll-0ut  have emerged amid asbestos exposure concerns.

The Electrical Trades Union’s David Mier reported having visited approximately 13 sites around Hobart, with some next to asbestos pits.

He alleged that only a small number of subcontractors at the sites had received mandatory asbestos training.

“Not only are they exposing themselves to the potential of asbestos fibres, but the general public as well,” he said.

“Clearly I’d be suggesting the work should cease until they’ve been adequately trained.”

Mier is concerned over reports that uninformed workers are digging up asbestos-lined telephone pits.

“Potentially it can put lives at risk, the workforce and the general public,” he said.

“I’ll be writing a chronology of events and a precis of what we’ve seen here and we’ll be submitting that to Conroy and NBN Co and we’ll be asking questions: why aren’t their obligations being fulfilled?”

The agency responsible for the safety of workers installing the NBN admits there are issues surrounding asbestos.

Comcare has stated intentions of  intervening on specific sites.

It says it is working with NBN Co to improve current systems, including around asbestos awareness training.

NBN Co released a statement saying it is investigating the claims.

Its contractor Visionstream says its workers have all received training in asbestos awareness and handling.

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been contacted for comment.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/nbn-rollout-hits-asbestos-snag/story-fn3dxiwe-1226637791432

National Swimming Team Commences Training Alongside Asbestos Removal At Centre

Asbestos removal has commenced at the Australian Institute of Sport Aquatic Centre even though the country’s elite swimmer’s continue to use the centre. Renovations on the almost thirty-year old building have been ongoing for approximately a month and are expected to continue until the end of the month.

The national swimming team has been centre since Sunday for orientation camp, forcing them to walk past the construction site on the way to training. Tests are conducted on a daily basis to ensure that the particles are not air-borne around the worksite, and barriers and signs are in place to warn passersby of the potential dangers.

Comcare gave the ‘go ahead’ on the asbestos removal after examining the project.  The asbestos will be removed from outside the building and replaced with compressed fibro.

A spokesman for the ASC described the asbestos as ”low-risk” and said all the required steps had been followed to ensure its safe removal.

Those include:

■ An ACT-certified asbestos remover being retained to advise on and remove the bonded asbestos sheeting from the site.

■ Comcare approving the project approach and removal of asbestos.

■ An independent organisation conducting daily tests throughout the removal period to verify that no particulate asbestos are found in the air around the worksite.

■ The ASC occupational health and safety adviser being informed and agreeing to the process proposed and remaining on call should any OH&S issues arise.

”An exclusion zone has been set up around the work area to cordon off access from the public and staff since the start of the work,” the spokesman said. ”Arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the removal process complied with applicable work, health and safety laws.”

The AIS pool will be closed to the public from May 19 to June 7 for maintenance work.

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/asbestos-removed-as-athletes-swim-on-20130508-2j8ho.html#ixzz2T1ZcVyNf

Asbestos Death Toll To Rise

Between 30 and 40 thousand Australians are expected to die from asbestos-related diseases in the next two decades, a Senate inquiry has heard.

The Inquiry into the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Bill included evidence from Hobart with a vast range of groups who have experienced the deadly building material. 

According to David Clement from Asbestoswise, the age of mesothelioma patients is dropping — meaning patients are becoming younger. Clement has attributed this to the growing number of young people who are carrying out home renovations.

Despite widespread ignorance among DIY renovators about the risks, most efforts to increase asbestos awareness for DIY home renovations have all but failed.

“The story we have with home renovations shows is that we have been banging on their doors for years trying to get on,” Mr Clement said.

Simon Crocker, from Asbestos Free Tasmania, said about 12 people a year in the state died from asbestos-related disease.

“We have a poison in our community that’s killing people and it’s going to keep on killing people until we do something,” Mr Crocker said.

He said it should be a legal requirement that sellers disclose whether homes contain asbestos.

“We believe that if somebody knows they have asbestos in the house then they should disclose that at the point of sale,” he said.

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Source: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2013/04/24/377653_tasmania-news.html

Company and Two Employees Fined For Providing False Info on Asbestos

Land and Environment Court of NSW recently convicted Aargus Pty Ltd and two of its employees for failing to reveal the existence of asbestos in a pile of soil that was classified as waste.

Aargus, and  its employees; Kariotoglou and Kelly, all pleaded guilty to charges of breaching section 144AA of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW) (POEO Act), by providing deceptive and misleading information regarding waste that contained the deadly substance, asbestos.

Justice Craig convicted all responsible parties, and fined the company $30,000. Kariotoglou  ( the project manager) was fined $9000, and Kelly (environmental manager) was fined $3000.

by supplying false or misleading information regarding waste – in this case, waste containing asbestos.  As a result, the judgment of Justice Craig was limited to determining the appropriate sentence.

Aargus was ordered to pay 50% of the EPA’s legal costs, while Kariotoglou and Kelly were ordered to pay 30% and 20% respectively.

A clean up notice was issued, and the site awaits a costly fix.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source:  http://www.nortonrose.com/au/knowledge/publications/78452/employees-beware-both-company-and-two-employees-fined-for-supplying-false-information-about-waste-containing-asbestos

Asbestos At Park May Be Due To Hut

A member of the public has suggested asbestos found this week at Stromlo Forest Park may be from ruins of a hut that was built almost 60 years ago.

The man, who did not want to be named, said he had been walking the trails on Mount Stromlo for many years and the asbestos could have originated from a now-ruined structure known as Magnetic Hut.

The Australian National University website says the hut, the first paleomagnetic laboratory on campus, was built in 1955 and was a ”long, timber-frame structure clad in weatherboards”. Sections of the hut were removed in the 1970s.

Small pieces of bonded asbestos were found on a cycling track at Stromlo Forest Park. The results of soil and air tests are due by the middle of next week. The track has been closed.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/claims-asbestos-may-be-linked-to-hut-20130405-2hcsj.html#ixzz2Q1KNU9ce

Unions Raise Asbestos Handling Concerns

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has raised serious concerns regarding the asbestos handling practices of a South Queensland waste disposal company.

The potentially-deadly substance was reportedly placed in a skip bin at the JJ Richards Darling Downs site last  month. WHS Queensland has reportedly issued prohibition notices and ordered a decontamination of the zone.  However, TWU spokesman Peter Biagini says the health of workers and their families could have been put at risk.

“It’s getting moved around with an excavator and our concern it’s in the air and it’s exposed workers to asbestos and not only that, their families as well,” he said.

“It gets in your clothes, goes home, in the washing machine.”

Mr Biagini says the TWU has raised its concerns with authorities.

“JJ Richards … [has] contracts with many, many councils all over Queensland and our concerns are they could be doing the same thing in many other sites,” he said.

“We’re calling on the State Government and councils – we’ve written to the councils as well – urging them to do an inspection to make sure that they are handling it legally.”

However, JJ Richards has issued a statement saying it adheres to all regulations regarding asbestos.

The company’s branch manager, Tom Richards, says in the statement the company takes the welfare of its staff and the public very seriously.

“The health of our employees and the greater public is paramount and we have strict health and safety measures in place to ensure their ongoing safety,” he said.

“Our workers’ compensation history demonstrates this commitment, with the company operating at well above the industry standard.

“Our health and safety and environmental records demonstrate our commitment to these important health and safety and environmental matters.

“We welcome audits of our sites by relevant authorities at any time and give the community our assurance that should any concerns be identified, we will address them with priority.”

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-09/union-raises-qld-asbestos-handling-fears/4617638?section=qld

Bike Trail Closed Until Asbestos Removed

Scattered areas throughout the mountain bike trail at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra have been closed down following the discovery of asbestos. Pieces of material believed to be asbestos was discovered on two sections of the track.

The material is believed to the remains of the Australian National University’s buildings (ANU) which were destroyed in 2003 bush-fires.

The asbestos material is expected to be removed by ANU by the end of the week and the park will remain closed for sometime after as a safety precaution.

Signs are in place near Red Rock and Tall Trees informing trailblazers of alternative routes.

Organisers of the World 24-hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships say the discovery should not affect the event.

Asbestos was found during earthworks to establish the North Weston Ponds site, near the new Molonglo suburbs of Wright and Coombs.

The ACT Government allocated $20 million for the clean-up of the pond site.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-04/track-closures-at-stromlo-forest-park/4608672?section=act

Asbestos Legislation Hits Parliament. Removal Agency Established

 Parliament has drafted new legislation which would effectively establish an asbestos board.

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is expected to work with jurisdictions to establish a nationally consistent method of asbestos eradication, handling, and awareness. The agency will also manage environmental and public health issues attributed to asbestos.

The  Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency was a key component found in the Asbestos Management Review 2010. 

The introduction of the asbestos agency joins recently harmonised OHS legislation across the country in order to maintain a consistent national approach.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten said  Australia’s past widespread use of asbestos has left asbestos ridden material in the built environment. “It’s been almost a decade since asbestos was banned in this country and still, today, the dangers of this silent killer remain,” Mr Shorten said. “Asbestos is the worst industrial menace that will go on killing for decades.  “The sad truth is that asbestos-related deaths are not expected to peak until 2020, and that tragically, we are expecting another 30-40,000 people to be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in the next 20 years.  “There are children not yet born who will die of asbestos related diseases.  “We owe it to future generations to come to grips with the blight of asbestos.”

Shorten stated that the agency is the first bristle in a broad stroke against illegal dumping.  He hopes the legislation will encourage safe disposal across Australia.

“The Agency will work in tandem with all levels of government, unions, industry and support groups to implement a plan of action to eliminate asbestos exposure,” Mr Shorten said.“This is the first time that we will have a coordinated approach to eradicating, and handling asbestos beyond our workplaces.”
The new Agency is expected to be operational from 1 July 2013.

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Source: http://www.psnews.com.au/Page_psn3541.html?utm_source=psn354&utm_medium=email&utm_content=news1&utm_campaign=newsletter_www

Tasmania Councils Criticise Government Asbestos Plan

Tasmania’s councils have criticised the State Government’s plan to remove asbestos from all government buildings by 2030. The councils are reportedly concerned that the plan is not feasible, nor is it cost efficient. They also cited concerns over whether or not the level of expertise was available in the state to complete such a large scale task.

Councils doubt whether the goal is realistic and Local Government Association’s Barry Easther believes the plan has not been properly considered..

“What costs are going to be involved and how everyone’s going to pay for it?” The Launceston City Council’s Robert Dobrzynski says the plan extends to civic infrastructure, including the existing network of asbestos-based water piping. “There would be literally hundreds of kilometres of asbestos pipe.” The Workplace Relations Minister, David O’Byrne, says the Government is still trying to work out the cost of the plan.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-26/councils-fear-asbestos-clean-up-too-costly/4595536?section=tas

Asbestos Discovery Halts Work on Construction Site

Refurbishing at the Telstra Building in Deakin, was stopped after WorkSafe ACT and the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate issued stop-work notices to the contractor for breaches connected to the discovery of asbestos on the site.

Construction union representatives inspected the site and cited several concerns with authorities.

The contractor, Business 2 Business Commercial Fitouts (based out of Sydney) shut down the site following the inspection.

Dean Hall, ACT branch secretary of the CFMEU, reported that in addition to the building’s asbestos register  being inaccurate,the correct process of an asbestos audit and management plan were not followed by the contractor.

A Telstra spokesman stated that they were   ”aware that a contractor working on behalf of Telstra found some asbestos at a vacant part of the Telstra site”.

”The contractor took immediate action to ensure the safety of their employees … [and] is now working with appropriate authorities to ensure the site remains safe for anyone who works there.”

A spokesman for the ESDD said ”The head contractor did not have the appropriate licence, the asbestos removalist is licensed in the ACT. However, there were no approvals in place to undertake the work. None of the work on the site had the relevant approvals.”

It is unclear how long the site with be closed considering the number of approvals required.

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/work-halt-called-on-asbestos-site-20130215-2ej36.html#ixzz2LBGg0jj1

Unions Push for Asbestos Awareness Campaign

Since being diagnosed with mesothelioma six years ago, Serafina Salucci has lost a lung and endured several rounds of radiotherapy.

Earlier this week she partnered with Australia’s biggest unions in their efforts to push state and federal governments to finance and implement all recommendations made by Asbestos Management Review Comittee (AMRC).

Salucci believes a national awareness campaign can put a stop to others experiencing the tribulations she has experienced.

“The reason why public awareness and education is so important is the fact that there is no cure for mesothelioma,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

“Once you’ve got it, that’s pretty much it.”

Living with an asbestos-related disease has “been hell“ Salucci said.

“You can’t put it into words what it’s been like and what it’s done to my life and how difficult it’s been.”

The Australian Manufacturer Workers’ Union (AMWU) and Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) recently launched a campaign to compel the  federal government to “address the deadly threat of asbestos that is still present in many older homes, government and commercial buildings”.

The unions released a joint statement saying that Australia has highest per capita rate of asbestos-related disease, two thirds of houses built between the 1940’s and 1983 still contain asbestos.

“It’s time for the Australian government to implement a strategy to effectively tackle the threat of asbestos,” AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian said.

“That means the recommendations from the Asbestos Management Review Committee need to be implemented and fully funded to eradicate asbestos from our environment by 2030.”

Mr Bastian predicts that asbestos-related deaths will continue to increase for the next seven years.

“This is why we need to establish a dedicated National Asbestos Authority, and a national set of laws.”

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/16129409/unions-seek-end-to-asbestos-danger/

Asbestos Concerns for Crown Casino

Concerns have been raised over Crown Casino residents’ possible exposure of to asbestos and other toxins. 

Asbestos and other materials were reportedly unearthed four months ago while work was being done on a southern parking lot project for the casino complex.

Locals allege that despite the work being halted back then, the Health Department was only informed of the contamination recently when residents informed authorities.

“Nearby residents, Crown patrons and hundreds of park users have potentially been exposed to the excavated sand since November with no public warning or even signage,” resident Jeff McCann said, adding that authorities had confirmed to him that asbestos was present. 

“Attempts to cover the sand piles with mulch look to be ineffective (and) several questions arise, why the secrecy?  Warnings should have been issued. Why was the Department of Health not notified sooner?”If the excavation from a relatively small sample of the former Peninsula rubbish tip has revealed asbestos and other toxic wastes, what the hell will be found when the entire golf course is excavated for Crown’s hotel and the stadium?”Given the latest discovery, the Environmental Protection Authority should now do a complete study on the whole development site, both for the proposed six-star hotel and the Perth stadium.”

A Health Department spokeswoman stated that work on the site had ceased in early November 2012 upon the discovery of the contaminated materials.

“At the request of the Town of Victoria Park the WA Department of Health inspected the Burswood site on Tuesday, February 5 to assist them to determine any potential health risks,” the spokeswoman  said.

“At this time, no risks have been identified.

“When work was stopped, all stock piles were sprayed with hydromulch, an acceptable protection strategy.”

The spokeswoman revealed that the preliminary visual inspection  failed to identify any “exposed” asbestos and that “at the current time” there appears to be no public health risks to people nearby parkland, the casino or residents.

“The Department of Health’s inspection did not observe any uncovered stock piles of potentially contaminated materials,” she said.

But the spokeswoman stated that the department had requested a more extensive investigation of certain parts of the site which had been left undisturbed “to establish if there is anything of concern from a health perspective and if so how best it be managed”.

A spokeswoman for the Premier’s office said the Department of Building Management and Works  would head the project in lieu of the Burswood Park Board. “The Department has confirmed that no contaminated material is stockpiled,” the spokeswoman said.”Any contaminated material on site has been sealed. The stockpiled material on site is clean fill.’

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Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/toxic-fears-hit-burswood-and-crown-casino-site/story-e6frg13u-1226573942220

Unions Worried Asbestos Report Will be Concealed

THE Australian Workers Union visited Hobart saying it feared Cement Australia would hide a long-awaited research report into worker asbestos exposure because of legal advice.

AWU national occupational health and safety co-ordinator Yossi Berger, speaking before asbestos talks with the government last week, said he had been told the company’s lawyers opposed releasing the historical study of the plant’s workforce between 1947 and the 1980s.

“(The report’s) been going through an editorial process for a couple of years now,” Dr Berger said.

“The promise from the executives always was it would be made public.”

However, Dr Berger said he had been informed company management was still keen to release the academia-related study report but its “legal team will not allow it”.

“At the moment they have backed off – I have been told it will not be released,” he said.

Asbestos Free Tasmania chief executive Susan Wallace said she understood some of the data might be presented to Cement Australia workers, adding she was puzzled as to why it had not yet been made public.

“I’m about to write them a letter on that very matter,” Ms Wallace said.

The historical worker study was part of a four-step strategy to deal with worker asbestos exposure at the site.

The plan included ridding the plant of asbestos, health screenings for workers, a Monash University study to compare the health of workers with the general Railton community, and the historical study involving Goliath Cement board minutes, interviews with former workers and asbestos removal research.

Dr Berger said the company deserved credit for what it had achieved so far, however it must be transparent.

A Cement Australia spokeswoman based interstate said the company was making no comment about the study or disclosure.

“I’m not in a position to comment on that particular matter,” she said.

 

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Source: http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/1186111/union-fears-asbestos-report-will-be-hidden/?cs=87

 

Ausgrid Tackles Underground Asbestos At Substations

By Christmas time workers will have commenced the removal of  asbestos from Sydney’s small underground power stations. This is seen as a effort to rid the entire power industry of the deadly building material.

Asbestos will be removed from 10 small electricity substations throughout the city in the next few months,  in areas such as  Circular Quay and Hyde Park.

The Electrical Trades Union unveiled internal Ausgrid documents last month that documented approximately 49 asbestos-related illness cases at the company over 22-years. The union reports that friable– or easily crumbled– asbestos is still hidden away at the underground electricity substations and meter boards. They have since called on the companies to be reviewed and have the asbestos removed.

However, an Ausgrid spokesman said the holiday asbestos-removal was was part of the provider’s ”normal asbestos removal program” at over 250 substations under the city’s footpaths and roadways.

The spokesperson stated that the work will predominantly take place in the evening to avoid significant disruptions, but a small number of households will experience interrupted electricity supply.

The spokesman added,anyone being affected by electricity cuts will be notified of any planned interruption.

According to the government’s National Health and Medical Research Council, estimates indicate there have already been at least 4,700 deaths from mesothelioma in Australia since records began in the early 1980s. Over 25,000 Australians will die from it over the next 40 years and currently 500 men and 100 women develop mesothelioma annually in Australia. This number is expected to rise to 900 cases per annum  by 2020.

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Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/power-stations-to-be-rid-of-asbestos-20121206-2ay5s.html#ixzz2EUpFtmqe

 

Asbestos Training:Lawyer Praised For Asbestos Battles

Theodora Ahilas clients have all had contact with asbestos throughout the past 5 decades. Now her clients are dying and the pressure is on to ascertain the time of exposure so their families can receive compensation within their lifetimes.

Ahilas is an asbestos solicitor and has taken on approximately 1000 mesothelioma victim’s cases.Now, in the same month that seven James Hardie directors been fortunate to have their penalties reduced, she’s been awarded the Law and Justice Foundation’s Justice Medal, for her  commitment to their victims.

”I’ve seen people give their last breath getting compensation for their families,” Ms Ahilas said.

”It’s awful, but it’s still amazing that the human spirit is still prepared to fight at that point. That’s why I love the work.”

However, the  economics behind compensation for asbestos victims has evolved in her two-decade career.

The first influx of victims reports was the mining and factory workers who suffered direct exposure to asbestos and often battled its manufacturers, who allege to not have known about asbestos adverse affects until 1960.The second emergence of victims came from builders and plumbers whose work involved with fibro products.

Now reports indicate that a third influx is expected to come through– from women and children who washed the overalls of all those workers, the bystanders and DYI home renovators.

Now the third wave is coming through – the women who washed the overalls of those workers, the bystanders and the home renovators.Invariably, they have no idea when they were exposed.”I say to people when they come to me, ‘Think of it as a big jigsaw puzzle,”’ she said.

”It’s a forensic exercise. You’re looking at something that happened 30 or 40 years ago. You look for records to see what products they might have used. It’s a lot of talking to witnesses and going back and finding people,” Ms Ahilas said.

The third wave of victims demonstrates how indiscriminate mesothelioma can be.

”It could happen to anyone. There were several middle management [people] at James Hardie who developed mesothelioma, and that would be from walking through the factory.”

But if they ever sought compensation, they never called Theodora Ahilas.

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Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/lawyer-wins-prize-for-asbestos-battles-20121121-29q3a.html#ixzz2DAQazd34

People Must Stay Alert As Asbestos Can Exist Anywhere

 

Paul Howes, national secretary of the AWU  recently published an  article regarding asbestos victims.  In it he described how asbestos exposure victims  try to live their lives the best they can, considering the welfare of their families over their own. But underneath the courage lies a furious sense of betrayal that they were left unprotected and exposed to the fatal substance.

The physical toll the disease has taken is apparent for all to see, but  the emotional toll while not visible, is significant.

The danger of asbestos has not dissipated, in fact many experts believe there will be a  new batch of unfortunate victims of  recent exposure in the coming years.

Breathing in airborne asbestos fibres can be deadly at even the smallest amounts. Unfortunately, many homes throughout Australia that were built prior to 1988, may have have been built with asbestos building material.

Simply doing DIY renovations on a home can result in asbestos exposure and subsequently, lifelong problems.

Approximately 600 people die of asbestos-related diseases (such as Mesothelioma) annually. It is therefore imperative that people remain vigilant and aware, and treating asbestos very cautiously.

The federal government has embarked on an asbestos cleaning mission, and has set up an Office of Asbestos Management. This office would deal with the management and eventual removal of the fatal material. Unions hope that the agency will herald in a plan to remove all asbestos from Australia by 2030.

Workers have consistently been pitted against their employers as a result of asbestos exposure. Average people have been up against large companies for their part in the dumping of asbestos.  Fortunately, there has been some level of financial compensation for their suffering, but it cannot begin to suffice when considering the amount of suffering these victims endure.

One would think that this type of thing is rare and workers will no longer be exposed to these dangers again. However the use of asbestos was only banned in Australia in 2003 and as seen in the news,  many big corporations have been accused of dodging safety laws and responsibilities to workers.

It is a very unfortunate when  someone dies as a result of something that has happened to them at work and every effort should be made by companies to ensure that the proper training and equipment is provided when there is a potential of exposure.

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 Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/vigilance-is-vital-as-asbestos-killer-lurks-everywhere/story-fndo317g-1226518940630

State and Federal Government At Loggerheads on Asbestos Issue

Talks  intended to solve Canberra’s buried asbestos crisis have  come to a standstill after  the territory government accused the Commonwealth of double standards.

Both sides are now deadlocked on determining who will shell out  hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up over 100 sites around the capital where deposits of the fatal building material might have been buried for decades.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says the federal government has funded elaborate asbestos removal operations on various contaminated sites but is negating  responsibility for others. Gallagher is appealing to Prime Minister Julia Gillard to get involved.

Regional Affairs and Local Government department stated that they are developing a national solution to buried asbestos.

The deadlock creates difficulties for Canberra’s important urban renewal project, the East Lake development in Kingston. It was all set for medium and high-density housing for up to 8000 occupants.  There is reportedly, over 600,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil at the East Lake site. Much of the waste are remnants from the construction of the Parliament House. The estimated cost for cleanup is $90 million

The Commonwealth has allegedly refused to assist in the cleanup, arguing that the ACT state-government must accept responsibility. Ms Gallagher said the Commonwealth had cleaned up polluted land at Kingston Rail Yards, on former National Railways land and that defence sites at Bonner and Lawson had been remediated at federal expense. To refuse to fund clean-ups at other sites was ”inconsistent.”

Ms Gallagher said the talks between the two parties, convened last year after she threatened to sue the Commonwealth, had broken down but that the territory would not stop pursing an agreement with the federal government.

”I consider the Commonwealth has a moral and financial obligation to the citizens of the ACT to assist in remediation of sites contaminated prior to self-government,” Ms Gallagher said.

”The Commonwealth has accepted responsibility for remediation in a number of cases on an ad hoc basis.”

There  are said to be approximately 114 former landfill sites that are contaminated, leading to problems for the sites construction.

A spokesman for the Department of Regional Australia and Local Government said that a national plan was being developed for the management of buried asbestos.

”The Commonwealth remains committed to finding ways to address asbestos management issues nationally,” the spokesman said.

”We established the Office of Asbestos Safety in September 2012 to respond to the broad-ranging Asbestos Management Review and to develop a national strategic plan by 1 July 2013.

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/gallagher-plea-to-pm-as-asbestos-talks-fail-20121116-29hxd.html#ixzz2DARAjxWW

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Asbestos Training: Asbestos Dumping Discovered At Reserve

A large and worrisome amount of highly degraded asbestos material is dispersed throughout a popular recreational area.

The Peter Murrell Reserve at Howden is reportedly ridden with broken pieces of the deadly substance which was dumped there by unprincipled renovators. Amidst the scattered refuse is blue asbestos, said to be the most fatal to human beings.Even though the problem was reported to authorities two months ago, and despite an apparent clean up, hundreds of asbestos fragments remain on the ground of the park.

Asbestos was a popular building material used in the post-war era, prior to being progressively banned from the 1980s. Inhalation — regardless of how minute, can cause fatal mesothelioma years or even decades after exposure.

Builder Scott Cordwell was horrified to find asbestos throughout the reserve.

“I just live around the corner and I walk my dogs around there,” he said. “I went up there and I noticed a lot of it kicking around. This stuff is broken down and weathered and it’s quite a risk … if you pick it up it just disintegrates.”

There is a distinct lack of warning signs or barriers preventing members from the public from being exposed to the deadly material.

Parks and Wildlife Service general manager Peter Mooney recalls hearing reports of asbestos in the reserve from Workplace Standards Tasmania and Kingborough Council in October.

“A sample of the asbestos was collected. This was tested and confirmed to be asbestos,” he said.

“PWS staff then removed and disposed of a small amount of material on 23 October according to the proper process for disposal of asbestos.’

“Given that dumping of material such as this in bushland close to urban areas was a very common occurrence for many years, there may be other small deposits at the reserve.

“PWS will continue to remove this material as it is found and as it is reported by members of the public.”

The revelation comes days after  the Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation launched the Tasmanian Parliamentary Interest Group on Asbestos.

AFTF spokeswoman Susan Wallace is concerned that asbestos might be present in the reserve and believes an investigation and clean-up is urgently needed.

“If it’s lying around like that it should be a matter of priority,” she said. “They need to get an appropriately trained person in there to get some samples and do some testing and as a matter of urgency they need to organise a clean-up. Any asbestos that is releasing fibres into the air poses a health risk.”

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http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/11/22/366586_tasmania-news.html 

NSW Orders Asbestos Audit on Energy Companies

The NSW government has ordered an industry-wide asbestos audit for the state’s big electricity providers following meetings with unions and power companies.

Energy Minister Chris Hartcher agreed to the audit after a “productive meeting” with the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and representatives of power providers Endeavour Energy, Ausgrid and Essential Energy.

“The government is keen to ensure that asbestos management, removal and training plans are adequate to ensure worker and community protection,” Mr Hartcher said in a statement.However, he said the issue might need a national approach.

During the meeting, the union demanded asbestos removal across the industry after raising concerns about its workers being at risk of asbestos exposure.It followed the union’s release on Tuesday of internal Ausgrid documents which showed about 49 cases of asbestos-related illness at the company in 22 years.The ETU claims there is still friable – or easily-crumbled – asbestos at underground electricity substations and meter boards.

Workcover NSW is coordinating the audit, which will involve Endeavour Energy, Ausgrid and Essential Energy, TransGrid and the state’s power generators Delta Electricity, Macquarie Generation and Eraring Energy.Representatives from all parties will meet for the first time on November 14 to agree on terms of reference to set out the process for asbestos removal across the industry.

ETU secretary Steve Butler said he welcomed the government’s decision.

“It’s a compete turnaround (by the companies),” he told AAP on Thursday.

“We have zero tolerance to asbestos, it’s got to be removed.”

The audit will bring each company’s own auditing processes into one single system, Mr Butler said.

“What’s been identified is that those audits are out of sync.

“They are all different, so now there will be the one audit to cover the whole industry.”

Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2012/11/08/20/00/asbestos-audit-for-nsw-energy-companies

Asbestos: The Stealth Assassin

Initially it was miners and tradesmen who fell victim to asbestos, now reports have indicated that the deadly substance has been attacking people at home.

In the 70’s and 80’s every night a husband and father returned home from work, embracing their children and wives, unknowingly exposing their families to the invisible but very deadly asbestos fibres. Asbestos was used very often because it was cheap,strong, waterproof and fireproof– essentially the perfect material for builders. Asbestos fibres are 50- to-200 times thinner than human hair, and they invade people’s lungs laying dormant for many years before developing into fatal asbestos-caused cancers.

All evidence seems to indicate that Lou Williams, 57, developed mesothelioma from the warm embraces she received from her father, or even simply washing his overalls or vacuuming his car.Norm Williams was a plasterer on stores in shopping centres before being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1985. He succumbed to the disease six months later at the age of  54. His daughter never believed she could have developed the disease either until she received the shocking news in 2003.

Since then, Williams has had to endure an grueling 18 sessions of chemotherapy, and has even said goodbye to her daughters, husband, family and friends.

Since then, Williams has had to endure an grueling 18 sessions of chemotherapy, and has even said goodbye to her daughters, husband, family and friends. Miraculously she is still alive but after attending dozens of mesothelioma related funerals, she’s avoided planning events four-weeks in advance, and has resigned her self to the fact that she may not live to see her next birthday.

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According to the Asbestos Management Review Report released in August, there have been 4700 deaths from mesothelioma in Australia since records began in the early ’80s.  Estimates indicate that an additional 25,000 people will die over the next four decades. According to Asbestoswise over 2500 people are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in Australia every year.

These include mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis (a condition that restricts breathing by hardening and scarring the lung) and pleural plaques (thickened patches on the chest and lung lining).

Exposure Risks

The mining of asbestos in Australia been prohibited and there has not been any importation of the deadly substance since 2003. “It’s difficult to tell if a material contains asbestos,” says Anna Trzekwas, from Asbestos Removal Melbourne. “If you’re worried, call in a WorkSafe licensed removalist to check it. If necessary, they can safely remove the asbestos, too.”

Homes built after 1988 should be asbestos free. Pre-1984 do hold a risk of containing asbestos ridden material.

Asbestos may be present in hot water pipes, old heaters, stoves and ceiling insulation, as well as brakes, clutches and gaskets on pre-2003 cars.

Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/asbestossilent-killer-in-homes/story-fndo317g-1226509631760 

WA Proposes Removing Levy To End Illegal Asbestos Dumping

asbestos awarenessThe Illegal disposal of asbestos in Perth is expected to end after a landfill levy for the deadly substance is dropped, according to the WA government.

The exemption will be in place as early as Januay 2013, and will apply to asbestos sheeting bound in black plastic– however asbestos- contaminated soil will still be subject to the levy.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion stated that the new measure is intended to discourage and deter illegal dumping.

Regardless of increased fines, people had continuously dumped asbestos sheeting in bushland and other sites away from public scrutiny.  The Waste Authority advised that the landfill levy could be unintentionally pushing people to people to dispose of asbestos waste improperly.

“This is good news for small business and families, reducing costs and protecting the health of communities and the environment,” Mr Marmion said.

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Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/wa-bid-to-stop-illegal-asbestos-dumping-by-removing-landfill-levy/story-e6frg13u-1226512262288

Asbestos Safety:Electrical Trades Union Puts Pressure on Ausgrid

asbestos awarenessThe Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is convinced the number workers  sick from asbestos exposure will rise at  electricity distribution company Ausgrid. The ETU stated that 49 asbestos-related illnesses have been cited in the last 20 years at Ausgrid. Recently, the same company uncovered asbestos in its underground substations in central Sydney.

Spokesperson for the company, Anthony O’Brien claims that majority of the hazardous material has been removed. “In the Sydney CBD asbestos has been present in some substations for a long time. We have removed the asbestos from 90 per cent of those stations, so more than 30 have had asbestos removed,” he said. The union alleges that work has been suspended on the sites because Ausgrid refuses to pay overtime for night work. Their efforts to make the areas safer have all been conducted after hours to avoid public scrutiny.

The ETU is currently pushing for the industry to design and implement an urgent removal plan The union’s state secretary Steve Butler has threatened work bans if no government action is taken. “I think it goes countrywide. I’ve got no doubt this problem exists in New South Wales, it exists in Victoria, it exists in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.” NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson supports Butler’s position on involving the government.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-06/electrical-union-raises-ausgrid-asbestos-fears/4356096?section=nsw

Two Million Homes Hold Potential Asbestos Dangers

Asbestos AwarenessApproximately Two million homes constructed prior to 1988 could hold potentially fatal asbestos dust around electricity meters. Workers have been ordered to wear safety masks while doing work involving the meter boards.Meter boards put in prior to1988 contain asbestos that becomes deadly upon being disturbed by drilling associated with the installation of modern meters and solar energy.

Endeavour Energy  released  a ”hazard alert” to all 3000 workers on Thursday following after workers revealed that they discovered asbestos residue around meters.

The Electrical Trades Union subsequently ordered its members to halt work on or near potentially hazardous board.Labor’s bungled solar bonus scheme has increased the rate of work being carried out on meter boards over the past five years.

Endeavour Energy reportedly informed customers and electrical contractors that they should don safety masks when ”opening or working on” older style fibro meter boards.

Members of the union have been instructed not to return to work until the the boards are deemed as “asbestos free”.  The situation is considered high-risk as the asbestos is friable ( breathable) and thus exposure is a higher risk.

Criticism has been directed towards EE for simply telling workers and customers to wear personal protective equipment rather than acting quickly and appropriately. The union believes the company could have directed more efforts to dealing with the risk to both staff and the public.

Barry Robson, of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia, has criticized the company as well for identifying the problem but not warning households.

There are concerns that if an urgent public awareness campaign is not launched, then a wave of new asbestos victims will emerge.

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Source:  http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/households-unaware-of-asbestos-alert-20121027-28c84.html#ixzz2AZKYWoC8

Asbestos Training: Deadly Substance Found At Girl Guides Hall

ASBESTOS AWARENESSWorkplace Standards Tasmania is inquiring how asbestos was left undetected at a demolition site in the state’s south.

The deadly substance was buried in the infrastructure of a Girl Guides hall which was demolished for new council chambers.The asbestos was discovered at a rental property where it was misidentified as cleanfill.

Thomas Connelly who resides on the site is considering relocating his family because he fears for his three children’s health. He has subsequently contacted the council, the EPA and the Tenancy Union. Connelly wants out of his lease immediately as he is worried the presence of the substance could have deadly implications.

Connelly recalled stories regarding children who have played near mines in the past and have eventually be diagnosed with cancer. He is concerned that it only takes a small amount of exposure to result in cancer or a related disease.According to the site manager Bill Costin, a report is currently being prepared. Costin said checks had been done on the structure years ago but they missed the asbestos because it was “below the ground”.

Asbestos Free Tasmania Foundation spokeswoman Susan Wallace stressed that what is above the ground isn’t the only important  aspect since asbestos had been crushed in the past from demolitions and used to fill foundations.Wallace said this incident teaches those in the industry that simply checking the building is not sufficient.

The council informed the public that the asbestos has since been removed from both sites.  However, Connelly claims that it has not been removed and it is 100 metres from his home.

Mr Costin alleges that he was removed and he will investigate further.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-11/absestos-find-at-girl-guides-hall/4307212?section=tas 

Asbestos Training: Australian Registry’s First Mesothelioma Report

The first report  compiled with data from the recently-established Australian Mesothelioma Registry has been released, and the results are not encouraging especially for labourers

According to Safe Work Australia’s report and the Australian Mesothelioma Registry, 612 new cases of mesothelioma in 2011 were recorded. The new country-wide registry launched in 2011 with the aim of recording and tracking all newly reported mesothelioma cases. The collection of data is to compile research and note patterns and trends.

612 new cases equals to about 2.7 mesothelioma cases per 100,000 people. Safe Work Australia noted however that  that the number is likely to be a significantly higher due to “possible delays in confirming or coding some diagnoses.”

Of the 612 mesothelioma cases diagnosed, over half of the deaths were reported by the end of August 2012. Men make up for about 84.5 per cent of reported cases and most patients are 65-years old or older. The report indicated that workers from the construction and building trades were the most likely to have been exposed to asbestos in their careers.

The registry has patients complete and asbestos questionnaire to gain some insight into their history of exposure.  A patients completed the survey and 87 also completed a telephone interview.

Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of mesothelioma, a rare cancer that attacks the membranes around organs and often resists conventional therapies. According to Safe Work Australia, Australia both produced and was one of the biggest consumers of asbestos until the mid-1980’s. Even though the Australian government issued a total ban on the use and importation of all forms of asbestos in 2003, it is still present in thousands of homes and buildings.

At the beginning of this year the Australian government started a campaign meant to at encourage do-it-yourself homeowners to have asbestos assessments or have it removed before building or renovating a home.

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Source:First Australian Mesothelioma Report Confirms 612 Cases”, September 24, 2012, Occupational Health & Safety website.

 

Work Continues At Site Despite Asbestos Concerns

asbestos awarenessWorkSafe ACT has permitted work to continue on an Canberra construction site despite recent asbestos handling concerns.

Construction union, CFMEU is pushing for the hotel redevelopment site to be shut down amidst concerns.

According to the union, asbestos was neither being removed nor disposed of properly which has prompted workers to refuse returning to work.

CFMEU ACT branch secretary Dean Hall remarked that workers were not wearing proper protective gear nor were they being properly decontaminated once they’ve commenced work.

Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe stated that inspectors have visited the site and are satisfied with the employers efforts to address union concerns. McCabe said an asbestos removal company was referred by the ACT Planning and Land Authority which are responsible for licencing.

Prior to the inspection, Hall had expressed concerns that both workers and the public were potentially being exposed to the deadly substance.

Hall stated that a number of issues are cause for concern.

” We have the direct threat that there could be something go wrong with the demolition process and not only kill workers on the site but more importantly there is no or very little protection for the public,” he said.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-27/asbestos-fears-at-canberra-building-site/4282806?section=act

Home Renovators Warned Of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos AwarenessDo-IT-Yourself home renovators are being encouraged to not become the next generation of Tasmanian victims to the deadly substance, asbestos.

Majority of homes built prior to 1990 are expected to have some asbestos and many experts are concerned that most people are completely unaware of the dangers.Asbestos Free Tasmania CEO Susan Wallace stated that approximately 15 people are diagnosed in Tasmania with mesothelioma every year and she is worried that a new wave of victims will emerge out of home renovators.

According to Wallace, Australia has the highest rate of asbestos-related deaths from mesothelioma. She said the number ranges between 600 and 700 annually. She added that a new wave of preventable diseases is emerging in people exposed to asbestos from home renovations.

Occupational Hygienist Caroline Langley said Tasmania appeared to have a higher number of homes with asbestos. Langley stated that they are seeing an increase in the number of individuals who are renovating instead of buying new properties.

In fact,  president of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia, Barry Robson stated that the number of women developing mesothelioma fell within the renovation boom.

Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten recently announced plans to set up a national office to oversee asbestos awareness and management issues. This agency will be independent of other safety watchdog organisations and will focus squarely on asbestos related issues.

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Source: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/09/05/358841_real-estate-news.html

 

 

How Can We Make Australia Asbestos-Free

Asbestos AwarenessIn a recently published article, Paul Bastian, the National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union,  explained how Australia could be asbestos-free in the future.

After  several years of litigation and lobbying, Australia still suffers from a problem with asbestos. Bastian believes the federal government needs step it up and provide leadership on this public health issue.

Asbestos can still be found in bathrooms, kitchens, roofs and garages in approximately 66% of all Australia homes built between 1945 and 1980.

Australia’s alleged penchant home-renovation is uncovering much of this asbestos, and Bastian believes that poor community awareness and a variety of different laws relating to asbestos is compounding the asbestos danger.

The other problem is that up until the late 1970s nothing was written on asbestos to identify it, so you can’t necessarily tell if a material contains asbestos just by looking at it.

The World Health Organisation states that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, and the inhalation of asbestos fibres is known to cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other respiratory diseases.

Australia has the unenviable record of having the highest incidence of asbestos related diseases in the world, and it’s estimated that up to 18,000 Australians are likely to die from mesothelioma by 2020.

That’s why the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, the ACTU, the Cancer Council Australia, and asbestos support groups are now calling for the removal of all asbestos from public and private buildings by 2030.

That may sound like a costly exercise, but the long-term cost of inaction is far greater.

63 year-old Queenslander Ray Colbert is someone who knows just how costly exposure to asbestos can be.

Ray worked with asbestos for nine years while he was in the Royal Australian Navy.

He now suffers from asbestosis, is wheelchair bound, and can only breathe with the help of a respirator.

Ray is part of the second wave of asbestos victims who were exposed to the product through work, and he says there needs to be an education campaign to ensure there is not a third wave of victims exposed to asbestos in the home.

“We have to have a proper safety audit to identify it and once we’ve done that we can then set about planning its removal. Till then you’re just going to create another hazard and contaminate more people.”

The AMWU along with the ACTU is are calling on the Federal Government to establish a National Asbestos Authority to act as an information hub and coordinate this asbestos removal and education.

We need to help the public identify what products were made containing asbestos and ensure there is a role for local government in asbestos removal.

A first step in this process would be to introduce asbestos safety certificates on the sale of any property or commercial dwelling. This would enable vendors to identify if there is asbestos, where it’s located, what condition it’s in, and how it can be removed.

The public health challenges posed by asbestos time-bomb are great and we need supportive public policy to prevent further suffering and disease.

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Asbestos Concerns at Hospital

asbestos removal training

After a contractor falling through the Royal Adelaide Hospital ceiling, a patient was forced to relocate because of asbestos concerns.

The contractor reportedly fell through the ceiling and into the pantry room which is connected to the orthopaedics ward. While the ward experienced no disruptions, a patient in a room near to the pantry was shifted to a bed further away.

The room will remain sealed off until the asbestos is removed. The contractor was taken to the hospital in order to determine the severity of his injuries.

Upon discovery of the asbestos in the ceiling area, the hospital staff immediately implemented standard asbestos safety measures and restricted access to the area.

Air testing devices were used to ensure the air quality was at a safe and risk-free level for patients and staff alike.Luckily the sub-contractor suffered and was treated by the Emergency Department for only minor injuries. Safework SA has been informed of the incident.

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Source:  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/asbestos-scare-at-royal-adelaide-hospital/story-e6frea6u-1226458930290

Asbestos Training: Mesothelioma In Australia

SafeWork Australia has released national findings pertaining to the asbestos-caused disease known as Mesothelioma. The data examines the incidence of the disease between 1982- 2007,and the deaths between 1997-2008. Data pertaining to new cases was compiled by the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House, maintained by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Data relating to mortality was compiled by National Mortality Database, made available to us by the AIHW.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a typically fatal cancer which usually occurs 20-40 years after being exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma of the pleura  is a cancer affecting the protective lining of the lung and chest area. This type of Mesothelioma is the most common and frequently diagnosed types in Australia.  Approximately 94% of cases in 1982 were Mesothelioma of the pleura as opposed to the Mesothelioma of the peritoneum (abdominal lining) which is significantly rarer.

Asbestos in Australia

Asbestos was an extremely common substance to use in the Australian cement manufacturing industry. The substance was imported largely from the UK and the USA. However Asbestos mines were also in operation.  Until the 1960’s almost tw0-thirds of houses were ridden with asbestos cement. Because of the common uses of the product, exposure to asbestos was especially high in these periods specifically in certain industries and occupations. Following a serious of regulations on industry use of asbestos, the substance was finally prohibited in all forms in 2003 by the Australian jurisdiction and Australian Customs. Nowadays a national Model Code of Practice, How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace, helps assist employers and employees on how to manage risks associated with asbestos and how to minimise the risk of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung-cancer.

New Cases/Incidence 

661 new cases of  asbestos causing disease,mesothelioma were diagnosed in Australia in 2008.

Initially the number of new cases seemed to be decreasing from a previous peak of 652 new cases in 2003 to 591 cases in 2006. However, in 2007  the number of diagnoses again reached a new peak of 668 cases. The age-standardised incidence rate of asbestos was 2.9 per 100,000 in 2008. This rate has gradually increased overtime — in fact, in 1982 the rate was 1.2 which eventually grew to 3.2 in 2003.  In 2008 the highest age-specific incidence rate of new cases occurred among men over 85 — 48 cases per 100,000 population.

Mesothelioma Related Deaths

In 2007, 551 deaths were reported to be caused by mesothelioma.  In the data available on deaths due to mesothelioma, the overall number of deaths have generally increased between 1997-2007. The last year of the available data showed the maximum on record.

In 2007, the age-standardised rate due to mesothelioma was 2.4 deaths per 100,000 population. The number has remained relatively stable for the 10 years of data recording on mesothelioma deaths. Over the period the rate has ranged between the minimum of 2.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 199, to 2.7 in 2001.

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Asbestos Made Car Parts Found in 25k Chinese Vehicles

Asbestos Awareness TrainingApproximately 25,000 cost-efficient  Chinese cars will reportedly be recalled in Australia because some parts were discovered to contain asbestos. The company responsible, Great Wall and Chery may be compelled to recall almost all the vehicles sold- which are believed to contain the deadly substance in engine and exhaust gaskets. The importers  in Australia, Ateco Automotive, has been aware of the issue for “a period of months”  and has been devising a plan with government departments to deal with the asbestos contamination.

The plan is expected to be announced within the coming days. Despite the asbestos issues  , it is believed that the gaskets (made out of asbestos), may not be replaced because of the complex task of replacing them. In fact according to Ateco, many will not be need to be replaced through the life the vehicle. Source: 

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/chinese-cars-found-to-contain-asbestos-20120814-246r1.html#ixzz23ZMzs7Bd

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Curtis Island LNG Hub Workers Exposed to Asbestos by Employer

Asbestos AwarenessTrainingAccording to a union spokesperson, Queensland Island workers have potentially been exposed to asbestos by their American employer.The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is pushing for an inquiry into the US engineering  powerhouse Bechtel since the alleged exposure to asbestos at Queensland’s future LNG hub, Curtis Island.

ETU state secretary Peter Simpson revealed that he has evidence that 90 out of the union’s 200 members working on the island, were exposed to the cancerous substance while  working with construction materials supplied by Indonesia’s Metito.

Simpson stated that results of the investigation show that Bechtel, the main contractor of the site,  failed basic duties of care which subsequently resulted in exposure to white asbestos — an illegal and deadly substance. The union is currently attempting to will Bechtel into revealing the location and depth of their dealings with Metito. The union wants to have full transparency before,during and after exposures.

Bechtel has apparently also denied worker’s wages following their recent absences from work after the asbestos exposure.

This is one of various asbestos related cases to emerge in the past month. Asbestos exposure is potentially fatal and can result in numerous ailments, such as mesothelioma and other cancers.

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Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/electrical-trades-union-claims-workers-on-curtis-island-queenslands-planned-lng-hub-have-allegedly-been-exposed-to-asbestos/story-e6freoof-1226439513940

NT Drafting Plan For Asbestos Removal At Botanic Gardens

The NT Government is currently mounting a management plan to tend to the removal of asbestos uncovered at Darwin’s George Brown Botanic Gardens.A spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment revealed that asbestos was uncovered in the gardens over a month ago.

The asbestos is believed to be among the rubble dumped in the gardens following Cyclone Tracy.The Department stated that it is currently unclear how much asbestos exists at the site, but it is believed to be safe in its current form.

However, despite the government’s assurance, workers have refused to service the garden because they have safety concerns with the asbestos.NT WorkSafe confirmed that inspectors have since visited the site and it is up to the government to deal with the asbestos removal.

 

Update**

The Northern Territory Environment Department  revealed that some soil with suspected asbestos contamination have been removed from Darwin’s Botanic Gardens.

Asbestos was discovered at  the gardens approximately a month ago and since then discussions have been ongoing regarding it’s removal.

A spokesperson said some soil has been removed but it was not in a public space.

Staff have still refused to mow the lawns and are continuing discussions with department and union representatives.

 

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-27/asbestos-found-darwin-botanic-gardens/4159836?section=nt

 

 

Asbestos Found at Deteriorating National Archives Storage Facility

Asbestos AwarenessThe National Archives of Australia’s Mitchell storage facility is reportedly in such shambles that they are   taping down floor tiles which potentially contain asbestos.

Federal Parliament’s Public Works Committee pondered evidence put forth regarding plans for an almost $100 million preservation facility to alleviate the pressure on the existing centre which is so full that it can no longer accept classified documents.

Labor Senator Ann Urqhart remarked that she had noticed at least one tile being held down by tape, on a visit to the storage site. Urqhart inquired as to what plans were in place to guarantee the safety of the staff in the event that asbestos was conclusively discovered.

Archives assistant Director-General Cheryl Watson indicated that certain measures were being implemented to ensure the safety of staff in the wake of asbestos contamination. Watson stated that some highly secretive documents were no longer accepted at the facility, although some other less sensitive documents were still stored at the site.  The site has commenced work on upgrading a vault so that documents can continue to be safely stored until a new building is chosen.  D

Defence Housing officials informed the committee that a nearby school had been consulted by ACT planning authorities about development of site. Defence Housing also planned to communicate and work with the school.

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/tape-used-to-hold-down-asbestos-tiles-at-archives-storage-20120709-21rzv.html#ixzz20H3LrZNG

Asbestos Training: Mining Sites Closed After Asbestos Fibers Discovered

Asbestos AwarenessThe Department of Mines and Petroleum is examining the state of asbestos contamination in the Pilbara mine site.Rio Tinto confirmed that brown asbestos was uncovered at the West Angeles mine site last month.

The contamination in question was revealed when fibres were identified in material submitted from Holcim Quarry. A spokesperson for Rio Tinto indicated that the exposure levels were below OHS exposure limits but employees were swiftly informed of the dangers.

The Holcim quarry has voluntarily halted their operations and a  preliminary report on the site is due to be submitted shortly.

BHP have subsequently isolated material at another mine site near Meekatharra, following allegations that workers could have been exposed to asbestos. Key industry players have also been called to gather at the company’s behest.

A spokesperson for BHP said tests are currently underway and the safety of workers is not in jeopardy.  CFMEU safety officer Steve McCann claims to have spent three days investigating asbestos following calls from reports from several concerned workers.

McCann is worried that workers will continue to be exposed to the deadly substance while the investigation continues.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-27/asbestos-found-in-holcim-quarry-and-minesites/4095068?section=wa

Unions call for Federally Funded Asbestos Authority

Asbestos AwarenessReports have indicated that unions intend on pushing for the creation of a National Asbestos Authority to help protect people, and remove asbestos from homes and businesses.

Lifelong campaigner against Asbestos, Paul  Bastian will meet with Prime Minister Gillard and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten to discuss the case. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary, Bastian said more Australians died from asbestos exposure than in World War II.Bastian believes that the number of people and legal matters dealing with asbestos surely indicates that the problem must be dealt with. The union believes the best way to deal with this problem is a federally funded authority to manage the asbestos awareness, asbestos removal and to protect people from the dangers of the deadly substance.

The goal of the authority, according to the union would be educate the community about the existence of asbestos in private homes, businesses and public buildings. Bastion also mentioned the need for an immediate audit and plan to remove asbestos from all government buildings. He cited State government’s common reports of low levels of compliance with asbestos regulation, as reason for the need for a federally funded scheme to treat the issue as one of critical importance on a national scale.

Shorten recently mentioned that asbestos was indeed a critical issue for the government which is evident by their recently commissioned asbestos management review. The government currently awaits the report’s recommendations which is expected to be released later this week.

Asbestos Victims Association Pleased With Successful Asbestos Court Case

Asbestos AwarenessThe Asbestos Victims Association revealed that more  people will be eligible for damages claims for asbestos exposure following the case of a former Whyalla shipyards worker successfully brought against BHP Biliton.

The Full Court of the South Australian Supreme Court sustained a ruling to grant William Parker $20,000 in exemplary damages.

The court found that BHP failed to prevent Parker from getting Cancer while he was a shipyard worker in the 1970s.Terry Miller of the support group stated that the case was an important win for victims.  Miller believes that this case will represent precedent for future cases and will enable more asbestos related cases to make it to court. Miller added, that though not all cases will be made for exemplary damages, this case makes it “more easy”.

Asbestos continues to plague individuals years after Australian companies were ordered to stop using it. Many victims suffer end up suffering from the asbestos- exposure disease Mesothelioma, years after being exposed to the deadly substance.

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Source: www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-20/asbestos-victim-bhp-biliton-whyalla/4081964?section=sa

 

Asbestos Closes Part of Parliament House

Asbestos AwarenessThe Lower House chamber of the SA Parliament House has been closed for an undertermined time after asbestos fragments were discovered.

Both paint on the chamber’s canvas and the dust on the ceiling were tested and were revealed to be positive for asbestos fibres.  The problem was discovered by heritage architects during their usual inspection of the House of Assembly.

The lower house chamber of the South Australian Parliament House has been closed indefinitely after traces of asbestos were found.

Since the traces are considered minuscule , the risk to parliamentarians has been deemed minimal, but the chamber was closed as a precaution until further tests are conducted.

Since the closing of the Assembly Hall, meetings are reportedly being moved to another section of the Parliament House in Adelaide.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-18/asbestos-house-of-assembly-chamber-parliament/4076322 

Asbestos Discovered At Kurunda Building Site

It has been confirmedAsbestos Awarness that Asbestos was discovered at the Kuranda building site after it was shut down amid health concerns of 15 trainee tradesmen.

The State government is considering handing out fines to the parties responsible. A spokesperson for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said the presence of the deadly building material was confirmed by testing at a National Association of testing Authorities lab.  The safety board stated that they are considering action against the applicable duty holders as a result of health and safety breaches.

Reports indicate that action  could be handed out in the form of a fine as well another prohibition notice to further restrict work at the site. The board may also demand that safety practices be improved at the site. The site in question was issued a stop-work notice on Tuesday and has been closed since.

Executive officer for Ngoonbi Co-operative Society, Lionel Quartermaine  has yet to comment on the discovery but has previously stated that a qualified worker who was working with the trainees  was unaware of the potential threat. Jobfind Centres Australia’s general manager of Queensland Operations, Stewart Williams stated that the co-operative society informed them an inspection had been performed on the house and was subsequently deemed safe to refurbish.

Jobfind job seekers attempting to receive a Certificate II in Construction training, have been relocated to another work site. Work Health and Safety Queensland continues to investigate the incident.

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http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2012/06/08/222985_local-news.html

ACT Hints At Legal Action Against Feds Over Asbestos Removal Costs

Asbestos Removal TrainingThe ACT government is thinking about taking legal action against the Federal Government over the steep cost of cleaning up asbestos.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher discussed her unsuccessful attempts at convincing the Commonwealth into funding some of the clean-up costs from when it dumped a significant amount of contaminated soil in Canberra.

Gallagher claims the ACT government spent approximately $30 million to clean up and resign in the new Molonglo development. Almost 180,000 tonnes of asbestos were reportedly removed from the site by the ACT.

A site with 600,000 cubic metres of contaminated waste in Eastlake is expected to cost about $100 million to remove.
Gallagher strongly supports the ACT in their quest to convince the Commonwealth to contribute. The support she has stems from the belief that since the former government authority allowed such practices to occur then Canberra tax payers should not be held liable.

However, the Federal Government is expected to counter on the basis that since the land was transferred to the ACT, liability did as well.

The position of the opposition is that tax payers should not be held financially liable for the “incompetence” of the former governing authority.

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Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-07/act-set-to-sue-commonwealth-over-asbestos-dumping/4057132?section=act

 

Asbestos Training Breaches Cause Concern At ACM Removal Site

Asbestos Removal TrainingWorkers are concerned that the state’s biggest asbestos-removal site is risking safety by frequently breaching procedure.

Worker’s anonymously contacted The Advertiser news source and informed them that are doubtful that the correct removal methods were used in the first four months of the project. These four months involved the clean-up of 93,000 sq m of asbestos sheeting on the former Mitsubishi  manufacturing site.

SafeWork SA officers visit the site frequently and have had inspectors issue statutory notices for non-compliant work practices.

Some of the breaches include a failure to comply with PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements for asbestos-removal. However, there have been reports by former workers (who have quit) that the dangers extend far beyond PPE issues. Some issues have been cited regarding the handling of asbestos sheeting once it is removed from the factory structure by DE-Construct.

One worker stated that sheets were simply “dumped” into trucks with a plastic lining, causing airborne asbestos particles and dust.  Workers have also cited concerns with the thick cloud of dust in the factory that they believe may contain asbestos.

A spokesperson for the company stated that the company’s top priority was the safety of their workers.

Asbestos removal is being carried out according to EPA guidelines and under the watchful eye of SafeWork SA.

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Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/asbestos-clean-up-breach-fears-at-old-mitsubishi-site/story-e6frea83-1226370401166 

Asbestos Training: West Perth Site Declared Safe,At least For Now

Asbestos Awareness

Initial air quality test results reveal that asbestos particles are at a manageable level in West Perth following a large fire in an a
The factory is said to have had an asbestos roof, which caused concerns that the dangerous substance had been released into the air.bandoned factory.

The Vincent council has been significant part of the costly clean up since the explosion; going so far as to pay for the private firm Parsons Brinckerhoff to install several air-testing monitors.

Despite the site being declared safe with regards to asbestos exposure right now, there are still concerns that the construction to be done in the aftermath of the explosion could dig up asbestos dust.

Airborne monitoring at the site is expected to continue during the demolition, which is expected to start within the next few days and last slightly more than a week.

Vicent CEO John Giorgi stated their intention to inform the concerned community of the current status of the clean-up since some residents were concerned when the council made no effort to contact them regarding any health risks.

The clean-up is expected to cost the council between $130,000 to $150,000 because of the need for a demolition and precautions pertaining to asbestos.

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/13742776/asbestos-levels-safe-in-west-perth/ 

Asbestos Training: Over 100 Workers Exposed at WorkSite

 

Asbestos AwarenessOver 100 workers are believed to have been exposed to the deadly substance, asbestos as a result of safety lapses at an Ipswich work site.

Brad Ayers, a contractor is one of the workers allegedly in the “significant potential exposure”

According to workers and union representatives, the workers began work on a bridge where much of their material is believed to be asbestos, however it was never tested to confirm.Work was only halted this month when an analysis identified a substance at the site was revealed to be chrysotile asbestos.

One of the highlighted concerns is that workers were exposed to this substance prior to going home and hugging their wives and children.Ayer is terrified over the prospect of exposing his young children to the deadly substance. He expressed his grave disappointment and anger that the employers allegedly lied to their faces.

The  Roadtek project commenced after a truck smash left the overpass on Cunningham highway severely damaged.The Formwork on part of the bridge is made up of a 25mm sheet of asbestos which had to be removed following the crash.

A piece of material suspected to be asbestos was eventually turned in for analysis but work went ahead when staff was informed that the site was safe. Since workers were not informed of the dangers, they did not wear the proper protective equipment.

Chrysotile asbestos is identified as a Class 1 carcinogen under the National OHS commission.

More information on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brad-ayers-33-one-of-more-than-100-workers-potentially-exposed-to-asbestos-from-ipswich-worksite/story-e6freoof-1226359843387 

Asbestos Training: Thermochemical Conversion Waste Cleanup

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Process Overview Video Description

The following is a video description for the 6 minute video displaying ARI Technologies Inc Thermochemical Conversion Process Overview. Each bolded headlines below correlates with the same headlines that can be observed in the video. The text accompanying each bolded headline provides a concise description of what the video demonstrates when the viewer sees each headline in the video.

 

  • Waste Feed Operations: Timed buzzer alerts the worker to push bags of asbestos waste off of a scale and onto a conveyor. Each bag weighs approximately 50 LB and is loaded onto the conveyor every 3.5 minutes. This adds up to a total daily load of 10/tons per day.
  • Asbestos Bag Feed & Shredding: The bag is moving up the conveyor across to the conveyor scale where the bag’s weight is electronically recorded prior to being dropped into a shredding system. Shredder housing is held at slight negative pressure and vented through ductwork to HEPA filters in order to avoid the risk of releasing harmful emissions into the workplace. The shredded waste is fluxed, mixed, and conveyed to a feed hopper. One cannot see the flux, mix, or conveyance process since they are all enclosed and out of sight.
  • Ram Feeder Pushes Waste into Hearth:   The prepared waste hopper can be observed in the background. As the ram extracts, the prepared waste descends from the hopper in the anterior of the ram where it is then pushed into the furnace. Cycle of ram is timed for 10 tons/day.
  • First Cake Breaker Breaks up Waste:  The rotating shaft is armed with blades to   The rotating shaft is equipped with blades to separate the compressed pile of waste just pushed onto the hearth by the ram feeder. It is not possible to view this process because the pile of waste that moves into view from the right conceals this process. The additional cake breaker can be observed in the background rotating in the alternate direction.
  • Second Cake Breaker Spreads Waste: The second cake breaker can be seen exposing cooler waste and dispersing it to an even depth on the hearth to increase heat transfer rates, and to achieve uniform heating.
  • Removal Plow Collects and Rake Removes Treated Product: the alloy plow gathers treated product on the hearth. The rake intermittently drags the product of the hearth where it is released into a water quench. At this time , the waste     The alloy plow gathers treated product on the hearth.  The rake intermittently drags the product off of the hearth where it drops into a water quench. At this point, the waste discharge is approximately one-half to- two thirds the mass of feed  and one-half to one-tenth the volume of the feed.
  • Removal of Treated Product Bins: Treated product is sent from the Treated product is directed from the water quench tank through the auger conveyors to enclosed storage bins where it awaits a confirmation analysis.  Each bin has a capacity of approximately 2 tons of product which equals to approximately 4-tons of asbestos fee
  • Removal of Treated Product Following Analytical Clearance: Upon being declared as “asbestos-free”, the trap door on the holding bin is opened and the treated product is position on a roll-off bin where it will await transportation off site.

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Asbestos Awareness: Company Fined For Importing Asbestos

Asbestos TrainingA company appeared in Perth Magistrates Court where they received fines for importing asbestos into Australia.

The global engineering company Clyde Bergemann Senior Thermal was found to be accountable for a $64,000 fine  for penalties and costs of importing the deadly substance in machinery parts.

3 years ago, CBST imported over 60 machinery parts from China which was allegedly supposed to be used in the development of a power plant.

Customs and Border protection discovered that the machinery contained chrysotile asbestos, also known as white asbestos. It is currently banned for importation under the customs regulations since it can cause serious health defects such as lung cancer.

A year later, the company imported an additional 60 parts with asbestos in it.

CBST was subsequently found guilty of two counts of importing prohibited substances.

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Source: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/asbestos-importer-slapped-with-64000-fine-20120507-1y8l2.html#ixzz1uExSVjs3

Asbestos Awareness: 2.9 Million Awarded in Workplace Compensation

Asbestos TrainingThus far, almost 3 million dollars was paid to Tasmanian workers who are victims of asbestos exposure.

Workplace relations minister David O’Byrn confirmed that the asbestos Related Diseases compensation scheme had already granted payments to eight applicants.

So far the largest compensation awarded under the employer-funded scheme, was $540,000. The program was launched in October and the cost was covered by an employer-levy. O’Byne alleges that Tasmania’s biggest OHS killer was going to become even more of a problem when the contraction rate is expected to be at its highest in the next five-to-10 years.

O’Byrne stressed the dangers of the asbestos substance which exists throughout various government and corporate buildings, and even homes.

More info on Asbestos Awareness

Source: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/05/04/325001_tasmania-news.html

Asbestos Awareness: SafeWork Investigates Deserted Dump Site

SafeWork SA has been charged with the task of immediately cleaning up an abandoned asbestos dump site in Wingfield.

Unions brought the site to the attention of the authorities after the All State Group went into administration which left asbestos sheeting and insulation exposed.CFMEU secretary Martin O’Malley said despite the company’s licensed ability to remove the asbestos, it first had to be monitored by Safe Work . WorkSafe will have to determine if the harmful substance was sealed in airtight bags or containers.

O’Malley maintains that the site was littered with asbestos materials as well as other building matter.He continued by stating that members of the asbestos removal business that existed there were exposed to asbestos and residents living the wider community may have been exposed to deadly asbestos dust.

SafeWork has spent a significant amount of time at the site where they commenced the investigation immediately after The Advertiser informed them of the dangerous substance’s existence in the area.

O’Malley said Safe Work SA has to justify a 4m- high pile of asbestos ridden matter for over a year that was left unattended for a year.

BRI Ferrier, the appointed liquidator yet to commented on the status of the asbestos dump site.

More information on Asbestos Awareness

Source:http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/company-deserts-a-toxic-wasteland-at-wingfield/story-e6frea83-1226333740842

Fake “Asbestos-Free” Documents Endanger Maritime Workers

Asbestos TrainingAustralian maritime workers are frequently being exposed to potentially fatal asbestos fibres aboard foreign registered ships that have been discovered with fake papers citing that they are asbestos free.

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers have expressed concerns that vessels or tug boats being brought into the country, continue to endanger the safety and lives of seafarers.

The union’s concerns were included in a public submission to the federal government investigation into asbestos management.

The submission states that the International Maritime Organisation has distributed warnings that asbestos has been uncovered in ship fire blankets, wall and ceiling coverings, and other parts of the ship.

Federal Laws dating back to 2005, have prohibited the entry of vessels containing asbestos, however ships continue to arrive in Australia with asbestos ridden materials. The ship carry “asbestos free” certificates but they have  often been proven false by respectable Australian authorities.

The submission also cited a difficulty in enforcing Australia’s health and safety laws on internationally- registered ship, which have proven an obstacle in the process of achieving asbestos-free workplaces.

According to the submission, eight tug boats brought in from abroad, were discovered to have a serious amount of asbestos on their vessel despite being in possession of “asbestos –free” certificates.

The federal inquiry on asbestos management will be finalized in June.

More info on Asbestos Awareness 
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/maritime-workers-still-face-asbestos-risk-20120408-1wjli.html#ixzz1rxSYlBuC

Asbestos Awareness: Work-Site Closed Amidst Asbestos Concerns

Unions claim they’ve been forced to shut down and pause work on an inner Sydney site because of asbestos exposure concerns.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says work has been halted and 150 workers were told to evacuate the work site.Union state secretary Brian Parker says that documentation indicates that there have been several occasions where asbestos has been discovered on the site.

According to Parker; no action has been taken by the project manager Bovis Lend Lease.Lend Lease spokesman David Hutton ensured that safety was the companies top concern.Hutton claims that small traces of historically buried asbestos have been uncovered throughout the last five years.

Hutton confirmed that the company has always closes and quarantines the site when asbestos is discovered in a small number of excavation locations. The asbestos is then allegedly removed in accordance with WorkCover regulations.

More info on Asbestos Awareness

Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-10/asbestos-found-at-barangaroo3a-unions/3941938

Residents Outraged At Plans to Dig Up Asbestos Ridden Site

Asbestos TrainingSydney residents are outraged over plans to dig up an asbestos ridden site in order to build a huge waste treatment plant. In the late 1990s the deadly effects of asbestos were fully realised so the owner of the site, James Hardie, tore down  their buildings and built a concrete slap.

It has been five years since the asbestos-caused death of Bernie Banton, a former James Hardie employee who worked at the site. Residents are concerned and angry about the plans to dig up the contaminated site.

A German waste management and recycling company is looking to construct a commercial and industrial waste treatment facility where the James Hardie building was once located. However, residents are concerned that digging up the soil under the concrete slap will put their safety at risk since it is laced with asbestos. The site is located adjacent to a childcare centre.Residents have been adamant in their protest against the development, and their feelings that the government is putting corporate interests above public safety. Parents have since threatened to remove their children if the project proceeds.

Remondis has conceded that although the land had been cleaned up by Sydney Water, asbestos particles were still present in the ground. Mohan Selvaraj, a technical manager for Remonidis, said that the process will not include digging up the concrete slab except to provide sewage. Selvaraj said this part of the process will be monitored by Work Cover despite the ease to do it.

President of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia, Barry Robson, feels that the project is outrageous because any construction or vehicle is at risk of fracturing the concrete slap. Robson is concerned that a fifth wave of victims will occur.

NSW Planning Assessment Commission will make a decision regarding the project sometime after the public comment period closes on April 10.

More info on Asbestos Awareness Training

 Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/residents-livid-over-plans-to-dig-up-asbestos-site-20120327-1vwlh.html#ixzz1rDbJ2h78

Holden Hill Residents Fear Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos TrainingResidents of Holden Hill are concerned and fearful of potentially asbestos-ridden debris that has yet to be removed. The debris is said to be from an exploded house four months ago.

The township’s council is not able to remove the remains because it says the responsibility lies with the homeowner.  The house suddenly exploded and was reduced to rubble in October.

Bricks,glass and building materials were thrown onto roofs and backyards of neighbouring houses. According to the police, the explosion was caused by a deliberately lit fire with the use of an accelerant. The homeowners whereabouts have yet to be confirmed. Council mayor Miriam Smith stated that discussions with the owner are ongoing. At this time the area is fenced off for public safety and to ensure that the area remains untouched. However, the council’s power is limited for legal reasons

According to Safework SA; asbestos exposure can lead to asbestosis and other serious ailments.  SA Asbestos Diseases Society president Ian Sheppard stated the urgency for the site to be cleaned up because short-term exposure to asbestos fibres is as equally dangerous and long term exposure. Residents are concerned because no one is taking charge or responsibility for the clean-up and asbestos fibres may be blowing in the wind unbeknownst to residents.

More information on Asbestos Awareness

Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/asbestos-fear-grips-families-after-holden-hill-house-explosion/story-e6frea6u-1226284405560

Demolished Boatshed Causes Asbestos Concerns

Asbestos trainingA resident of Church Point has cited concerns with the tearing down of an asbestos-ridden boat shed opposite his home.

Warning letters were delivered by the Pittwater Council throughout the neighbouring properties, informing citizens of the removal of the dangerous mineral.

Asbestos warning signs were also found throughout the site. However, citizens have noted that the council-contracted workers were destroying the building with hammers and showed no consideration for the containment of asbestos dust. A concerned citizen, Collyn Rivers said that the building was left in a “huge pile” for a long period of time. It is alleged that the workers simply tore the building apart without taking any occupational health and safety precautions.

It is important to note that Asbestos fibres are hazardous if inhaled.

Rivers is concerned that people may have unknowingly been exposed while in the vicinity. A spokesperson for the Pittwater Council said the contract workers removed the asbestos according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.

The shed was listed to for demolition following a council report that stated the building presented the potential for numerous hazards.

As reported by the Manly Daily last October, the shed was listed for demolition after a council report said it posed “numerous hazards and presents as a potential nuisance to third parties”.

The decision upset the non-profit jewellery and metalworking organisation Silver Plus, which successfully applied for a $40,000 state government grant to have the boatshed rebuilt as a workshop.

More info on Asbestos Awareness

Source: http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/asbestos-health-fears-from-demolished-boatshed/ 

Canberra Citizens Unknowingly Exposed To Asbestos

Asbestos TrainingCitizens of Canberra may never know the extent in which asbestos was dumped throughout the ACT. Health authorities said the outrage and hysteria that surround certain discoveries vary because of the various levels of risk. Asbestos assessor Frank Poole stated that a significant amount of asbestos remains in old housing from when workers were building the national capital, which was later knocked down and buried.

During the second World War, fibro structures such as POW and military camps were swiftly constructed with the use of asbestos sheeting. When the war ended, it is alleged that instead of retaining the sheeting, the structures were just knocked down.

Poole said that there were no records indicating where builders dug holes to dump asbestos. People can be unexpectedly be exposed to the dangerous substance from worn friable asbestos in an old air-conditioning unit or from dust from renovations.

Most recently, asbestos has been uncovered at Lyneham sports precinct as well as units at Kingston Foreshore. Houses built prior to 1985 in most suburbs have a very high chance of containing asbestos. Asbestos fibres can gloat in the air for a long time, where they can potentially be inhaled. Asbestos exposure can lead to lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/no-records-mean-we-may-never-know-extent-of-dumped-asbestos-20120219-1thg5.html#ixzz1n4A89kGE

WorkSafe Reveals Asbestos Problems At Fun Park

Asbestos Awareness TrainingWorkSafe has revealed that asbestos was discovered at  a St.Kilda amusement park, Luna Park. The deadly substance was discovered in a tower that supports a large, smiling face structure. The substance was reportedly removed when the iconic fun park was closed in June last year.

WorkSafe issued a safety improvement order to the park management, which  did not update a mandatory register for hazardous materials for more than 10 years.

The occupational health and safety laws breach, was discovered when former CFMEU state secretary Martin Kingham was employed by Luna Park to monitor the restoration project. Kingham was a former Victorian president of the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia.

He led many anti-asbestos campaigns during the 1980s. A WorkSafe report stated that Kingham had provided them with an asbestos register for the workplace but the register was dated May,2001—more than five years old. According to Victoria’s OHS laws, Asbestos registers must be reviewed and if required, updated every five years.

Luna Park executive director  Mary Stuart insisted that the park was safe for visitors, following a thorough audit of the park last year. Stuart said the deadly asbestos was not a threat to the public since it was not friable or powder-like. Stuart stated that the park takes its health and safety requirements very seriously.Over the past decade, WorkSafe has found serious breaches of OHS legislation. Electical improvements were ordered for a ride that risked the safety of children when it rose four metres in the air.

For more information on Asbestos Training

Source : http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/secrets-behind-the-smile-20120128-1qn9d.html

Asbestos Training: Asbestos Found In School Science Kits

Asbestos  AwarenessDespite the State Government proclaiming that its asbestos management guidelines are the strictest in the country, four Year 8 students have found the deadly substance in science kits. Since the discovery, two recalls have been conducted for the decades-old classroom science kits. It is unclear how many kits had been in schools but 159 kits had been removed prior to the second recall. Many of the kits in question were issued over two decades ago.

LNP education spokesman Bruce Flegg stated that the recalls and safety alert made a farce of the State Government’s asbestos management in schools. The Queensland government has proudly proclaimed to home to the most transparent and hard lined guidelines for asbestos management.

Flegg has since accused the Government of trying to keep the recalls discrete and hidden from public eye which is why all parents have not been alerted.

Flegg warned that an excessive amount of examples of children and teachers have been exposed to deadly asbestos fibres .

Experts claim that the risks posed by the kits are minimal despite the fact that there are always risks associated with asbestos.

The kits allegedly originally contained a sample of asbestos rock. Queensland asbestos expert Bill Kwiecien stated that while the kits were a concern and a possible risk to children because of the presence of hazardous material, the actual risk was minimal. Kwiecien stated that it is only a concern because kids are exposed to it but otherwise it would not be of immediate concern.

More information on Asbestos Training 

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/asbestos-in-science-kits/story-e6freoof-1226244932839

Asbestos Awareness Concerns At Kingston Work Site

Asbestos AwarenessAn undisclosed amount of asbestos was recently brought into Kingston Foreshore by a Land Development Agency contracter. The area is said to be currently undergoing preparations for mixed use land development.

Kingston residents have expressed concern and curiosity over WorkCover’s closing of the site earlier this month. Allegedly, for over two years, the  work  at the site involved extensive earthworks and dust problems prior to  the closing of the area without an adequate explanation.

A 2.68 ha site is vacant and still remains a potential mixed-use and urban, area. The site is located north of Eyre Street and west of the Causeway. The agency has reported that early surveys discovered asbestos in the area. In addition to the surveys, a contractor has also reportedly brought in fill material with traces of asbestos in order to detect how much asbestos was present.

Early testing indicated that the trace amounts of asbestos are a result of building demolition waste.Environmental compliance officers for the Agency have detected the asbestos and subsequently enacted environmental control procedures.

The site was officially closed on December 13 by Worksafe but then the order was lifted on December 15 after the Environmental Management Plan and Occupational Health and Safety Plan were reviewed.

Civil works have recommenced at the site and the construction of roads are expected to be completed by March 2012 according to the program.The source of asbestos has yet to  be specified by the agency.

Opposition Leader Zed Seselja stated that this is one of several recent cases of asbestos contamination being discovered at proposed work sites.

More information on Asbestos Training.

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/new-fears-asbestos-sullied-kingston-site/2399800.aspx

Home Renovators Need Asbestos Awareness

asbestos awareness trainingThe fifth annual Asbestos Awareness Day ceremony will present an unadulterated caution to home renovators.

The ceremony that takes place yearly in Latrobe Valley community is an event in which people gather in remembrance of asbestos victims of the past and present.Gippsland Trades and Labour Council secretary, John Parker announced that home renovations were the most recent asbestos-related issues. The ceremony was attended by affected family members and workplace representatives.

Vicky Hamilton of the Asbestos Related Diseases Support group , said despite the last harmful type of asbestos being banned, there still exists an inadequate amount of community awareness.Hamilton stated that asbestos continues to exist in large amounts throughout the community and in homes. Thus people  are at risk for potential exposure on a daily basis. Hamilton expressed her concerns that asbestos related cases would continually increase for decades to come.

Parker asserts that diligence by government was needed to avoid illegal dumping by home renovators. It is Parker’s desire that one day the Asbestos Awareness Day will just be a memorial day, and not a day for remembering new victims. This story comes after issues arose with popular DIY home renovation reality TV-shows. Issues arose because the shows do not provide asbestos awareness or  any warning; nor  do they express the need for proper asbestos training.

Source:http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/news/local/news/general/home-renos-the-new-issue/2372406.aspx

Asbestos Training: Air Quality Monitoring Persists For Another Year

Asbestos AwarenessThe State Government has stated that air quality monitoring on asbestos removal projects, will remain mandatory for an additional year.Industrial Relations Minister, Russel Wortley, after undergoing the pressure of lobby groups, has stated that the current rules would remain for period of 12 months.

OHS Harmonisation and Asbestos Removal

South Australia will (over the next year) lobby for the mandatory air-monitoring for “Class- B removals”, in the harmonized occupational health and safety regulations. Wortley has stated that the decision of the government is a response to the concerns of industry affiliates and stakeholders.The asbestos that will require air-quality monitoring is the non-friable type of asbestos. Non-friable asbestos is commonly found in solid material and cannot be crushed manually when in a dry state.

Andrew Butler, a committee chairman for Steering, went on record to say that the 12-month transitional period to uphold air-quality monitoring is a significant improvement .There are concerns that dropping the mandatory monitoring would risk exposing workers to the deadly substance and subsequently, exposing them to a deadly disease. Wortley asserted in a conference, that diseases related to asbestos exposure continues to kill hundreds of Australians each year and plagues thousands of them with symptoms. No indication yet on if the air-quality monitoring will be a permanent addition to the harmonised laws.

More information on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/another-year-of-asbestos-air-tests/story-e6frea83-1226201847135

 

Senator Calls For Asbestos Awareness On Reality TV

Asbestos Training CoursesPopular reality TV series’ The Block and The Renovators are receiving criticism because they do not warn DIY renovators about the risks of asbestos exposure.

Labor senator Lisa Sigh stated to Parliament that there should be a disclaimer displayed during the programs to inform the audience of the various dangers when doing renovations.Senator Singh has found support from asbestos campaigners when she claimed that the popular shows should develop a corporate conscience and provide asbestos awareness information.Singh stated that the shows have an responsibility to inform people that asbestos can be found in fibro sheeting, water, drain and flue pipes.

She continued by saying that no one would welcome a spike in asbestos related disease cases in over 20 years and have it connected to the popularity of DIY home renovation.The high ratings of the show indicates that there is a captive audience and thus it is important for companies to be corporate citizens.Every year there are more and more cases of with mesothelioma, a disease usually caused by asbestos exposure.

Recently a report warned of the possibility of a third-wave of asbestos related illnesses.Asbestos Diseases Foundation president Barry Robson claimed that it would not be demanding for the programs to have disclaimer warning of the dangers.Cases of asbestos related diseases are increasing.

The Nine Network has indicated that it improve its education on asbestos dangers in the next season of The Block.

A spokesperson for the network stated that they understand the dangers and the need to inform the public.

Asbestos Training is available to any prospective renovators.

The Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/reality-renovators-exposed-to-deadly-disease/story-fn7x8me2-1226190639118

Asbestos Training: As Important Now As It Ever Was

In light of recent asbestos exposure cases Asbestos Training remains as vital as ever before. One must educate themselves and acquire an understanding of the proper measures on how to deal with asbestos incidents so they can avoid potential exposure.Simply because Asbestos is not something that is still used today, does not mean it is no longer a risk.

 “Just like the thousands of tonnes of unexploded mines that were dropped in past wars, asbestos continues to creep up and claim its victims.”

Recently a man, Simon Lowes, was awarded $2 million, after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which the judge ruled was caused or at least contributed to, by the actions of companies; James Hardie and their subsidiary Amaca. The ‘actions’ the judge was referring to was the careless dumping of asbestos waste at a children’s railway and orphanage.

This victim of asbestos was affected by the substance when he was a mere child playing in field years ago. It is important to note that construction sites renovation projects continue to turn up asbestos contaminated zones.

As far as other occupational health and safety risks goes, It would not be a drastic exaggeration to say that Asbestos Awareness training is one of utmost importance—if only because it can save the lives and futures of innocent children. James Hardie, the accused company, received a warning from their safety advisor around the same time Lowes was exposed.  The warning was regarding their dumping of asbestos waste at the exact site that Lowes received exposure at.

It is imperative for companies to ensure that they have employees trained in asbestos awareness so that if they are ever faced with a warning like the one James Hardie received, they will act accordingly, and undertake the proper measures.

It is alleged that many ACT businesses could potentially still contain ‘’fluffy’’ asbestos unbeknownst to them. This is because many buildings were “out of the scope “of the $100 million effort to remove asbestos in the 1980s.

Because of this oversight, over 50 families may be at risk of exposure since they live in contaminated zones. This “fluffy” fibre asbestos is actually more dangerous than the typical asbestos found. Being exposed to it by a broken roof tile is potentially life threatening.

With quality asbestos training available, there is no reason why any worker should improperly handle asbestos. Quality training enables participants to become fully competent and aware in the management of Asbestos and of all compliance requirements. Receiving Asbestos Awareness training, or having your employees receive this training, is a good business decision (as it could save your company $2 million See: James Hardie case), and an ethical and moral decision.

 

Asbestos Victim May Seek Additional Compensation If Appealed

Asbestos Awareness TrainingAs previously reported, a victim of unjustified exposure to asbestos was awarded $2 million. However, in the event that James Hardie (The accused company) decides to appeal the court’s decision, the victim has discussed pursuing further charges.

Simon Lowes was awarded 2.07 million dollars when he sued James Hardie’s subsidiary company, Amaca. Lowes decided to sue when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma—a disease caused by his exposure to asbestos.  Evidence showed that the company had ignored their own safety experts warnings to halt the dumping of asbestos waste.

Lowes lawyer,Michael Magazanik told the media that he wished James Hardie would not appeal despite their claim that they would. Magazanik believes that James Hardie should give up their attempts at appealing. Magazanik stated that his client has already endured a tiresome trial and suffered through very aggressive cancer—James Hardie should just accept the court’s decision and let Lowes get on with his life.

Magazanik continued by stating that it was ‘unbelievable’ that the company continued to dump asbestos waste at a children’s playground at least until 1971.

Source : http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/man-42-wins-207m-asbestos-compensation-claim-against-james-hardie/story-e6frg13u-1226178467424

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Asbestos Training Courses – Asbestos Detection Procedures

Asbestos training courses outline the necessary procedures for safe risk assessment of asbestos containing material (ACM). Asbestos awareness training is an important part of workplace health and safety.

You will find your asbestos training gives relevant instructions in sampling and analysis of ACM. It is important that samples of materials suspected of containing asbestos are taken only by competent persons and are analysed only by accredited laboratories. The sample should be representative of the suspected ACM (e.g. for the walls of multi-storey buildings, at least one sample should be taken on each floor). If there are any variations in the appearance, texture or colour of the material, additional samples should be taken.

The samples should be adequately labelled to enable identification of the address and specific location from which the material was sampled and should include the date of sampling and the batch identification number.

Where necessary, any damage caused by the sampling of a suspected ACM should be repaired without causing further disturbance to the ACM. If there are inaccessible areas that are likely to contain ACM, the person with control should presume that asbestos is present.

Rather than taking samples to determine whether a material contains asbestos, the person with control may simply presume the material contains asbestos. Once such a presumption has been made, the material must be treated as an ACM, with work practices and disposal criteria as required for the presence of asbestos, until the material is removed or testing has confirmed that it does not, in fact, contain asbestos.

The list of common ACM may be used as an aid in determining which materials, if any, may be presumed to contain asbestos. The full list should be found within the asbestos awareness training course.

As indicated earlier, if there are inaccessible areas that are likely to contain ACM the person with control should presume that asbestos is present in these areas. For example, it may be reasonable to presume that wall cavities or ceiling spaces contain ACM such as asbestos insulation.

It may also be more cost effective in other circumstances to apply the presumption instead of sampling and analysing suspected ACM, as would otherwise be required to rule out the presence of asbestos.

The workplace’s register of ACM must state all the presumptions made about materials in the workplace. For example, a generic presumption statement in the register might read, ‘All wall cavities are presumed to contain asbestos’ or ‘All underground conduits are presumed to contain asbestos.’

Online asbestos awareness training is the quickest way to complete your training. Make sure your asbestos training course meets WorkCover and WorkSafe requirements.

The risk management approach to asbestos awareness

Asbestos training among other things, focuses on detailing the risk management approach to asbestos in the workplace. Risk management is a common concept in business practice and ensures that safe systems of work can be established from detailed risk management plans.

What you will learn from your asbestos training is how to identify asbestos in the workplace and adopt an accepted risk management approach. You will also learn about asbestos registers and asbestos management plans. How do you identify asbestos in your workplace?

Asbestos training courses provide employers with the knowledge required to keep their workplace safe. As employers are required by law to manage risks to all persons in and around the workplace, it makes good practice to adopt a risk management approach so that consistency in applying the law will avoid making mistakes in managing those risks. Asbestos awareness training is an important part of this.

The problem is that ACM can release asbestos fibres into the air whenever they are disturbed, and especially during the following activities:

  1. any direct action on asbestos containing materials (ACM), such as drilling, boring, cutting, filing, brushing, grinding, sanding, breaking, smashing or blowing with compressed air
  2. the inspection or removal of ACM from workplaces (including vehicles, plant and equipment);
  3. the maintenance or servicing of materials from vehicles, plant, equipment or workplaces;
  4. the renovation or demolition of buildings containing ACM.

Non-friable ACM that has been subjected to extensive weathering or deterioration also has a higher potential to release asbestos fibres into the air.

Asbestos training covers risk management procedures: a detailed approach to risk management starts with an on – site assessment and an asbestos register. All premises should have an assessment and a register, even if they are new, because second hand plant and equipment brought into a building may contain asbestos. It is also good practice to have a building assessed and recorded as being asbestos free. This simple statement that establishes a baseline condition. Then any second-hand plant and equipment brought into the building needs a check for asbestos and removed prior to installation if asbestos is found.

Persons with control of premises must ensure all ACM in their workplaces are identified, as far as practicable. More specifically, there is a need to:

  1. identify the locations of all ACM and determine whether any inaccessible areas are likely to contain ACM; and
  2. identify the types (e.g. asbestos cement sheet, asbestos lagging on pipes and flues, ACM gaskets in plant or machinery) and condition (i.e. damaged or intact) of ACM.

Asbestos training courses are a very valuable tool for keeping workplaces safe, and are available online.

Asbestos awareness – what must employers do?

Employers must ensure that employees and other persons are informed of the dangers, hazards and risks involved and of any precautions that should be taken. Asbestos training will inform employers of exactly how to do this.

Asbestos training courses provide employers with the knowledge required to keep their employees safe.

Employees must be provided with:

  1. Asbestos awareness training
  2. Safe Work Method Statements including emergency procedures.
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (available for use if required)
  4. Facilities to safely wash and remove PPE and clothing before they leave the workplace (if required to handle ACM)

 

Employees are to be notified in writing if asbestos work is being carried out.
All persons must be warned, by the use of signs, labels or other similar measures, of the presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing material in a place at which work is being carried out around asbestos.
Employers must identify, and implement measures to prevent any disturbance of asbestos-containing material while work is being carried out. For example, if asbestos is encapsulated, or sealed, the employer cannot allow any asbestos fibres to be released into the air – they must seal off the asbestos and areas where it exists.

An employer must ensure that procedures are in place for:
• The cleaning of premises at which asbestos work is carried out;
• The laundering and cleaning of personal protective equipment used for asbestos work;
• The containment of asbestos waste; and
• The disposal of asbestos and asbestos-containing material safely according to Environmental Protection Authority standards and guidelines (e.g. disposed of to a legitimate hazardous waste facility).
An employer must ensure that no asbestos-containing material, including asbestos cement, is reused in connection with the carrying out of construction work.
An employer must not allow the use of high-pressure hoses to clean the surface of asbestos-containing material, including asbestos cement or any structures that consist of or contain asbestos, during the carrying out of construction work.

As you can see, asbestos training is a very valuable  tool for helping to keep workplaces safe from the hazards of asbestos. If you work in the building industry you may be required to complete your asbestos awareness training. Asbestos training coursescan be completed online.

Asbestos death toll underestimated. Asbestos Training Courses can help!

According to a recent study entitled ‘Global magnitude of reported and unreported mesothelioma’, the number of deaths related to asbestos exposures worldwide has been dramatically underestimated, as some major asbestos-using nations are failing to report any related cancers. (more…)

Asbestos awareness training – some legal requirements

Where asbestos containing materials (ACM) may be present or suspected in the workplace, asbestos awareness training courses educate you on the health and safety risks of asbestos. On completion of asbestos training, participants should be fully competent and aware in the management of asbestos and aware of all compliance requirements, with qualifications from a competency based asbestos training course that is accepted by the government.

A code of practice is available in relation to health and safety issues in your workplace. They are practical documents that assist in implementing safe workplace procedures. They may also be used by a court as evidence of an employer’s failure to implement the duty of care responsibility. An asbestos training course will fully detail your responsibilities and how to fulfill them.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 there are responsibilities for controllers of premises. A controller of premises that contains asbestos or asbestos containing material must ensure that Risk Assessment and Control Measures are carried out.

A controller of premises must ensure that:

A register, in which the type, condition and location of all asbestos and asbestos containing material in any workplace, is prepared, recorded and maintained. For example, if it is contaminated roof tiles or in the walls of a building a register must be kept of these details.

Any action taken to control asbestos and asbestos containing material in the workplace or in plant at the workplace is to be recorded in the asbestos register. The register must be easily accessible to everyone in the workplace, including contractors and visitors (e.g. electricians, plumbers and others who may perform work in asbestos contaminated areas).

The Register must also include details of assessment concerning the asbestos that took place before any work was carried out.

Employers are required to identify, assess and control both stable asbestos and asbestos in processes. Asbestos training will properly outline how to carry out these requirements.This involves requirements in the design of workplaces and plant, labelling, notifying WorkCover in certain circumstances, controlling the exposure, providing training, and consulting with employees and health and safety reps.

An employer must ensure that asbestos work is carried out within the legal requirements of the NSW OHS Legislation. Complete your asbestos awareness training to gain a full understanding of other important asbestos facts such as health risks.

Asbestos awareness training: the health effects of exposure to asbestos

Where asbestos containing materials (ACM) may be present or suspected in the workplace or home, online asbestos training courses offer a convenient way to educate you on the health and safety risks of asbestos. Asbestos training is a good idea for anyone coming into contact with asbestos. Asbestos becomes a health hazard when fibres become airborne and are inhaled or swallowed. Asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibres into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested.  Many of the fibres will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibres can cause health problems.

Health effects depend on length, diameter and composition of fibre. Disease is usually associated with long-term exposure in occupational or para-occupational setting (immediate family or live near asbestos mine or factory) Risk depends on how much and how long.  Asbestos training provides comprehensive information on how to avoid or manage these risks.

Because it is so hard to destroy asbestos fibres, the body cannot break them down or remove them once they are lodged in lung or body tissues. They remain in place where they can cause disease.

All forms of asbestos can potentially cause:

Non cancer:

  • pleural plaques
  • asbestosis

Cancer:

  • lung cancer
  • malignant mesothelioma

An asbestos awareness training course provides the skills and knowledge necessary to help managers, controllers of work premises, trade persons, employees and others identify asbestos containing materials (ACMs) or suspected ACMs, and to ensure that appropriate action is taken. Asbestos training can easily be completed online.

Asbestos Training: learning the risks of exposure to asbestos fibres.

This article focuses on highlighting the health risks associated with asbestos fibres. We are not going to get to technical. Just give you some basic facts. Asbestos training will help you understand the risks involved. (more…)

Why Asbestos training is needed?

Why is asbestos training needed? Asbestos Exposure and Occupational Safety are two critical terms. The naturally occurring mineral asbestos has been used in a wide variety of occupational settings. (more…)

How Asbestos Training and Asbestos Training Courses help

Asbestos training and asbestos training courses help you understand the history of asbestos in Australia. Asbestos is the name applied to six naturally occurring minerals that are mined from the earth. The different types of asbestos are: (more…)

The Value of Asbestos Awareness Training in the Workplace

You might have never heard of asbestos awareness training, but it can save lives. It gives householders and workers a fundamental understanding of the way to recognize its presence, where it is usually located in buildings, and methods to avoid being exposed. Knowing where it is found can help workers avoid being exposed to this deadly mineral. And if it is found an asbestos removal service should be called without delay.

What forms of things contain asbestos fibers?

It is present in fireproofing materials, insulation, cement, building materials, shingles for roofing, ceiling plaster, brake linings, and other types of building materials. Tiny asbestos dust can become airborne (float in the air), especially during the manufacturing of materials with asbestos. These airborne particles can be breathed in, resulting in mesothelioma, cancer, and different asbestos-related medical conditions.

Asbestos awareness training is vital since asbestos is seen in a great number of buildings as well as houses and schools. Within the workplace or home asbestos will mostly be found as sprayed-in insulation above ceilings and on steel beams, in ceiling tiles and floor tiles manufactured previous to 1981, and in insulation around pipes and ducts. So far as floor tiles are concerned the bulk of 9-inch tiles and a few 12-inch tiles will include asbestos if they were produced previous to 1981.

Asbestos training & asbestos courses can be found online.

Courtesy: Articlear.com

Builder fined over asbestos awareness error

A Solihull building firm has been fined £1,000 after failing to take precautions against asbestos while working at a school.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after bosses at Greswolde Construction Ltd of Station Road, Knowle, failed to warn its employees that the substance was present despite being in possession of a survey detailing where the asbestos was. (more…)

Asbestos awareness

What are the historical uses of asbestos? Asbestos is the fibrous form of mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups of rock-forming minerals. (more…)

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