$108,000 fine for unsafe Asbestos removal
The recent announcement, that Bays Boating Limited were fined $108,000 for unsafe asbestos removal, shows the Health & Safety at Work Act has teeth! Read all the details here.
It’s estimated that over 220 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases. While many of these deaths relate to exposure that occurred years ago before we fully understood the dangers of asbestos, now there are no excuses for unsafe work practises.
What’s more, each year we learn more about the harmful effects of inhaling contaminants, whether it be hazards dusts including asbestos and silica or fumes from solvents. So if your work environment contains hazardous dusts, mists, or fumes then you have a number of responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act and it’s regulations.
- Environmental monitoring – ensuring you measure and track the level of contamination in your workplace.
- Training – ensuring everyone potentially exposed to these contaminants understands what they are, the possible health impacts, how to minimise exposure, what controls have been implemented, what PPE should be used and how to wear and maintain the PPE.
- Controls to be implemented – engineering controls such as fume extractors, dust suppressants or closed spaces are preferable but if these are not practical then administrative controls such as restricted work times and lastly, the use of personal protective equipment should be used.
- Health monitoring – regularly check the health of employees who are exposed to potentially hazardous substances so that you can be sure that your controls are working.
Specifically, in relation to asbestos removal, we strongly recommend that workers involved in the removal of asbestos use a full-face respirator with P3 particulate filters.
For short duration jobs the Shigematsu FS01 and P3R filters is ideal, providing a filtration efficiency of 99.95% and the benefits of wide vision, comfortable fit and speech diaphragm for easy communication.
For those working for extended periods then the Sync01VP3 Breath Response PAPR offers additional protection and comfort with the motor ensuring positive pressure inside the mask at all times and reducing the effort to breath.