Walls, roofs and insulation not the only asbestos harbourers, ASEA warns

Thursday, 28 November, 2019

Walls, roofs and insulation not the only asbestos harbourers, ASEA warns

Trades workers are being urged to think beyond roofs, walls and insulation when assessing asbestos exposure risk — with floors, bathrooms, kitchens, fuses and pipes also potentially harbouring the deadly substance, according to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA).

The message comes as part of ASEA’s Asbestos Awareness Week (25 November–1 December 2019) campaign — “Asbestos lurks in more places than you’d think”.

“In parts of the country, as many as 1 in 3 homes still have asbestos-containing materials,” said ASEA CEO Justine Ross.

Yet, “even amongst targeted tradies, awareness of where asbestos can be is low”, ASEA said in its information pack.

Despite ongoing work by governments of all levels and the non-government sector, legacy asbestos and asbestos-related disease remain major challenges for Australia, according to ASEA.

“It’s shocking that approximately 4000 Australians die every year from asbestos-related disease — that’s twice the annual road toll,” Ross said.

As a result, the ASEA is encouraging workers — particularly those in construction, maintenance and manufacturing, plumbing, electricity and vehicle trades — to remain vigilant to asbestos’s presence and associated dangers and adhere to relevant occupational health and safety laws when working with the material. Anyone handling asbestos in the workplace must be properly trained, ASEA added.

More asbestos awareness information can be found via ASEA’s website.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/SasinParaksa

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