Asbestos under the microscope

Friday, 09 June, 2006

Workplace safety authorities across Australia and New Zealand have joined forces to improve the level of compliance in demolition work and any associated asbestos removal work that creates potential risks to workers and the general public.

WorkCover NSW chief executive officer, Jon Blackwell said the six-week campaign, which commenced in February, is the first national project to target asbestos dem-olition activities.

"Inspectors will visit residential and commercial demolition sites throughout Australia and New Zealand to check on how contractors are managing demolition and asbestos removal work and to take the necessary enforcement action wherever dangerous practices are found," said Blackwell.

"The campaign reflects the concern of Australian workplace safety authorities to improve the level of compliance in dem-olition work and any associated asbestos removal work.

"There is no excuse for exposing workers or the community to these risks," he said.

"Every employer has a legal duty to ensure that any worker required to undertake this work can do so safely and without risk to their health.

"By adopting a co-ordinated national approach, we want to drive home the message that authorities are serious about making sure employers meet their health and safety responsibilities," said Blackwell.

Workplace inspectors will check that contractors have identified, managed and controlled demolition and asbestos-related hazards and risks.

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