ASBESTOS FOR TRADESPEOPLE
Due to its common use in building products from the 1940s onwards, many buildings or homes built before before 1 January 2000 are likely to contain some type of asbestos materials.
It is important to note however, that a ban on imported products did not come into effect until October 2016, so it is still possible for asbestos to be present in more
recently-constructed buildings as well.
As a result, tradespeople are therefore likely to come across some form of asbestos every day and run the risk of disturbing it and releasing fibres during the course of their work. If fibres are inhaled they could lead to asbestos related diseases. So it is essential for all tradespeople to learn what to look for and how to manage it safely.
Before commencing any work, tradespeople, should always determine if asbestos containing materials are present and ensure they minimise the risk.
The duties and responsibilities around asbestos management have changed. Make sure you are up to date with the requirements and understand your obligations as a person conducting a business undertaking (PCBU).
So what next?
Here are some quick actions you can take in becoming more asbestos aware:
Familiarise yourself with common places that asbestos can be found in homes and buildings and the types of products that could contain asbestos.
Take an asbestos awareness training course to learn how to manage it safely.
Keep an asbestos Personal Protective Equipment Kit (PPE) in your tool kit should you come across asbestos in your workplace.
Understand your obligations under the new regulations.
Take the warnings about asbestos SERIOUSLY
"She'll be right mate!"
Even if you have been doing this for years - it is never too late to take precautions and do the right thing to protect your own health and the health of those around you. This includes your family, your workmates and the people in the properties you work in. Learn where asbestos might be located on your job sites and how to manage it safely!