Asbestos exposure can lead to serious, often fatal disease. November is Asbestos Awareness Month. It is the perfect time to remind ourselves about the dangers of asbestos.
Too many people are unaware of either the risk asbestos poses or how commonplace it still is in many Australian residential and commercial buildings.
If you are renovating a house that was built or renovated prior to 1990 or a commercial building built or refurbished prior to 2004 - chances are there is asbestos!
So what should you do if you suspect asbestos? We asked Master Builders Safety Advisor and Trainer Graham Stewart for his tips:
- DUTY – under WHS regulations you have a duty of care. A duty to look after your colleagues, yourself and your place of work. you have a duty to look after yourself and your place of work.
- LOOK – be aware and always be on the lookout. Never assume it is not asbestos. As an asbestos assessor to visit and provide a report (access assessors at SafeWork NSW website).
- STOP – if you suspect asbestos, stop work – move away. Never use tools that cause dust or high-pressure water cleaners (including on roofs).
- MOVE – move away from the site and contact SafeWork NSW 13 10 50 immediately. Or you can use the SafeWork NSW Speak-Up APP.
- WEAR – if you are inspecting an area that may have asbestos always make sure you have a mask and nitrile gloves on.
- REPORT – you must report suspected asbestos to your supervisor or SafeWork NSW.
- ALWAYS – use licensed removalists to remove asbestos.
Be asbestos aware.
At Master Builders, we offer online asbestos training courses throughout the year. They are simple to access and complete. To sign up for the next course visit our website.
Why wouldn’t you want to be ASBESTOS SAFE?
For more information about asbestos, visit the SafeWork NSW website.