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WorkSafe Victoria Issues Warning for Tradies to be Alert for Asbestos

05 February 2018

The Australian Mesothelioma Register’s most recent statistics have revealed that approximately 60% of mesothelioma cases are as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace. This cancer of the lining of the lungs has resulted in at least 95 deaths in Victoria in 2016, as well as 145 new cases. In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos has also been linked to lung cancer and asbestosis, which causes scarring of the lungs, shortness of breath and coughing.

WorkSafe Victoria has launched a campaign aimed at tradespeople in an effort to raise awareness and ensure that sites are checked for asbestos prior to the commencement of work.

Despite many tradies being aware that asbestos posed a significant health risk, many did not know how to identify it or places where it may be present.

“Workers have to know what they should be looking out for before they start work. Asbestos materials were commonly used in buildings before 1990 and are still contained in many structures today. Learning more about asbestos and how to identify it could be the difference between developing a severe illness or staying healthy.”
WorkSafe Acting Director of Health and Safety, Paul Fowler

Those at the highest risk of exposure are tradespeople working in the building and construction industry, particularly on home renovation, maintenance, refurbishment or demolition projects. Asbestos fibres can be released into the air by activities such as drilling, sawing, sanding or other demolition works that can break down asbestos materials present in walls, floors and ceilings.

 

For more information on asbestos, visit asbestos.vic.gov.au or speak to an Asbestos and Hazardous Materials consultant at your nearest Greencap office.

Greencap has over 30 years’ experience in asbestos and hazardous materials management and runs regular asbestos training courses.

Greencap proudly supports the Bernie Banton Foundation which provides mesothelioma and asbestos-related support to sufferers, their families and carers in Australia and New Zealand.