Demolition company ignored asbestos risk, says SafeWork NZ


By Safety Solutions Staff
Thursday, 04 May, 2017


Freeimages stephen simpson

A WorkSafe NZ investigation has found that demolition work on three residential buildings posed a significant risk of asbestos exposure.

P&M Demolition Specialists and its director, Jade Ngaha, were found to have proceeded with demolition work despite being aware of asbestos material on-site.

No risk assessment or comprehensive survey to establish the location, condition and quantity of asbestos was carried out by the company. There were no safety controls in place, exposing workers and neighbours to asbestos fibres and asbestos dust, the report said.

Asbestos dust was reportedly found well beyond the boundary of the worksite.

“It’s beyond belief that Mr Ngaha did not follow recognised industry practice, which includes testing for the presence of asbestos, given he had been told that it was present. Nor did he ensure his employees had the right skills or equipment for the task,” said Keith Stewart, WorkSafe chief inspector.

“Asbestos is very dangerous, and the importance of having specialist knowledge and help to manage its removal is critical to reduce risk. Safety is paramount when it comes to asbestos, and that is why the regulations are so detailed.”

Asbestos is the single biggest cause of deaths from work-related disease. On average, about 170 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases. Breathing in airborne asbestos fibres is a serious risk to health — once the fibres are breathed in, they lodge in the lungs and may cause asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Image credit: ©FreeImages.com/Stephen Simpson

Related News

The link between common health problems and workplace injury

Researchers at the University of Southampton have been analysing the risk of workplace injury...

Two agricultural workers killed in separate truck incidents

Two agricultural workers have been killed in separate incidents in country Victoria, according to...

Vegie business fined for tractor and fall safety breaches

A Gippsland company specialising in vegetable growing, processing and distribution was convicted...


  • All content Copyright © 2017 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd