Worksafe Victoria recently released a reminder to the construction and building services industries warning that the dangers of asbestos exist in far more places than most people think.
Before it was banned in Australia in 2003, asbestos was used in more than 3000 common building materials like cement roofing, water pipe insulation and vinyl tiles.
Although asbestos hasn’t been used in Australia since the 1980s, it’s still found in many Australian buildings, including as many as one in every three homes.
Worksafe Victoria has initiated an education campaign directing people – especially tradies – to www.asbestos.vic.gov.au for important information to help home occupants, employers and employees understand the risks of asbestos. This includes the legal duties that apply, how to comply with those duties, and resources for safely managing and removing asbestos in homes and workplaces.
According to the web site, Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related disease in the world, and tradies are among the most at risk for asbestos exposure. Knowing what to look for might not be as easy as most people think.
The website provides help to identify where asbestos might lurk and how to safely dispose of it. It contains guidance from WorkSafe Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).