November is an important time to raise awareness of how to work safely with asbestos and know your responsibilities under the law. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral and can typically be found in rock, sediment or soil. It has strong fibres that are heat resistant and have good insulating properties. Because of its properties, asbestos was once considered very useful for building products. While its now banned in Australia, we still find it in a range of materials including fibro, flue pipes, drains, roofs, gutters, brakes, clutches and gaskets. 176 Australians are compensated each year for asbestos-related illness. This equates to $85 million in payments. The occupations most at risk are trades workers, labourers and machinery operators and drivers. If you are a duty holder, there are a few things you must do under the laws, to ensure you are working with asbestos safely.
- You must have an asbestos register
- You must have asbestos management plan
- You must control asbestos in your workplace
- You must hold the right training and licensing
- You must monitor your workers health
Safe Work Australia will be sharing more information on managing asbestos in the workplace, including:
- 29 November – Video: Asbestos basics for duty holders
- 30 November – Video: Personal protective equipment for airborne contaminants
- 1 December – Video: Chemical Hierarchy of Controls
Read more about working safely with asbestos.
Safe Work Australia, 27 November 2017 ; http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au