Vic company fined for dangerous demolition, asbestos removal
Fivestar Demolition and Render Pty Ltd has been convicted and fined $20,000 after a neighbour spotted workers knocking down a building containing asbestos without the proper controls in place. The demolition company failed to provide or maintain a workplace that was safe and without risks to health, and failed to ensure that people other than employees were not exposed to risks to health. The company was also ordered to pay costs of $4449.
After being alerted by the neighbour, WorkSafe Victoria inspectors attended the Oak Park property in May 2018 and observed two Fivestar workers demolishing a bungalow. An independent hygienist confirmed the building contained asbestos — Fivestar was not a licensed asbestos removalist. A worker said the company’s director had told them to proceed with the work despite the presence of asbestos, to get the job done quicker.
WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said cutting corners on safety is unacceptable.
“Asbestos is an extremely hazardous material that can have lifelong health consequences for anyone exposed to it. Employers are required to provide a safe and healthy workplace and must also comply with laws relating to asbestos removal,” said Nielsen.
Asbestos removal work must be performed by an asbestos removal licence holder and/or their employees who are appropriately trained and instructed to perform the work safely. Unlicensed removal of limited amounts of asbestos is only permitted in certain circumstances.
Asbestos removal work must comply with strict safety requirements, including the use of protective clothing and equipment, decontamination facilities, waste disposal procedures, employee medical examinations, the use of signs and barricades, and the preparation of an asbestos control plan.
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