Asbestos is present in many workplaces, homes, commercial properties and in the environment. The likelihood of asbestos being present, increases with the age of the property, plant or structure. Despite asbestos being banned in Australia, it is still imported illegally from overseas usually in plant, structural materials or as packing. Recent cases include fire doors, panels, vehicle gaskets and brakes and children’s crayons containing asbestos.
The risks related to asbestos are many but predominantly the effect is on the individual’s lungs, who is exposed to it. Effects of failing to identify the asbestos hazard and uncontrolled or inadvertent release of asbestos fibres, includes:
- Health risk to workers related to breathing in fibres and their effect on the lungs which make breathing very difficult including asbestosis and mesothelioma;
- Health risk to others such as the public or worker’s families exposed to asbestos from work clothing or other contaminated sources;
- Failure to meet compliance obligations related to identification and management of asbestos such as a survey and development of an asbestos register and asbestos management plan;
- Business impacts of asbestos release such as damage to an asbestos roof resulting in closure of business operations at that site until it can be cleaned up; and
- Failure to identify asbestos on a project or building site resulting in significant costs to clean up as well as project delays.
At Safety Management Solutions, we can help your business manage the risk of asbestos. Our approach is proactive and protective taking an elimination of the hazard approach, when practicable. Our pre-purchase building and site assessment, can protect your workers and save you a lot of time and money by eliminating asbestos from your operations. Where this is not practical, we can assist in identifying, assessing and recommending controls for the safe and effective management and containment of asbestos in compliance with regulatory requirements.
Call us today to discuss how we can help asbestos management in your operations.
Further resources on mesothelioma can be found under News & Information