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Asbestos violations result in huge fines
In a disturbing trend that continues to be found across Australia; demolition and construction contractors have been willfully violating asbestos removal and disposal safety standards. These recent violations indicated the lack of concern for the health effects and diseases that can stem from fibre exposure. Now, asbestos-containing material (ACM) is well recognized to cause significant health hazards including increasing the chance of lung cancers, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Illegal asbestos removal work
Two Ballarat companies, that failed to take proper safety measures when dealing with ACM, were fined with huge fines. They pleaded guilty to charges for conducting an illegal fibre removal work. The worksafe prosecutor further stated that these two companies failed to assume that the ACM was present at the workplace.
“The removal of asbestos in a safe and suitable manner is very important. Not only for people working at the site, but also the community. Unsafe work practices will not be tolerated by the court.” – Michelle Hodgson , magistrate
Generally speaking, if an employee suffers from diseases that are caused by fibrous material in the working space. A lawsuit would be filed against all or some of the following:
- Owners of the property where the work was being conducted
- The company that manufactured the fibrous product
- Contractors involved in the work being performed
Thus, you need to contact a competent person to inspect your workplace for fibrous products. If unsure whether fibrous product is present, assume it is. A licensed contractor will test the suspected material via an accredited laboratory. More resource at www.abc.net.au and www.ballarat.vic.gov.au pages
Illegal dump of ACM in Ballarat
A company that illegally dumped ACM has been found guilty and ordered to pay more than $20,000. The company, hired to clear Telstra duct pits, has been using unsafe practices to dispose of hazardous ACMs. Worksafe stated that about 10 bags containing fibrous material had been cut open which can be dangerous for the people around the disposal area.
The disposal of fibrous material waste, whether from a household or workplace, is controlled by the EPA. By law, you need to dispose of fibre products at a landfill site that is licensed to accept hazardous waste. The dumping of fibrous material on private or public land is a breach of the environmental protection act 1970 and the health act 1958. If you have fibrous material on your property, the EPA recommends you to contact a professional removalist who owns a WorkCover license.
Agencies involved in ACM-related issues
If you want to seek more information on regulations surrounding fibre, you can contact several government agencies as follows:
1. Local council
Council’s Environmental Health Unit is responsible for managing and controlling environmental factors that have potential to affect human health, including fibre issues. Some fibre-related matters managed by this unit include:
- Unsafe removal of fibre product by owners and occupiers of private property
- Community concern about removal of fibre product in the neighborhood
- Dumping of fibrous materials
- Complaints about fibrous materials in poor or unsafe conditions
2. Department of Health & human Services
This department assists the community and local authorities with a range of fibre-related issues including:
- Technical information and general information on managing health risks associated with fibre exposure
- Providing advice for homeowners to safely maintain or remove fibre in the home
- Assisting WorkSafe or EPA with public health advice on ACM-related issues
- Assisting WorkSafe or EPA in advising the public on the health risks associated with ACM in homes
3. Environment Protection Authority (EPA)
Fibre-related issues that are managed by the EPA include:
- Transportation of commercial and industrial waste
- Licensing of landfill sites to receive hazardous waste
- Remediation of land contaminated with fibre
- Correct disposal methods of ACMs
4. WorkSafe Victoria
WorkSafe Victoria enforces and manages all issues associated with ACM in the workplace. A workplace is defined as any place where self-employed people or employees work. In some circumstances, a house can be categorized as a workplace where it is used as a home occupation or when a contractor has been engaged to perform work. Some ACM-related matters managed by WorkSafe include:
- Asbestos removal and air monitoring within a workplace
- The requirement to undertake ACM risk assessments
- ACM removal from building construction and residential sites completed by contractors
- Complaints about ACM in workplaces
- Off-site releases of ACM from a workplace
- Storage of ACMs
Ballarat Asbestos Removal, Testing and Management Plan
ACM can be found in various locations within your buildings such as kitchen splashbacks, floor tiles, eaves linings, and roof guttering. If your property was built after 1980, it is unlikely to contain fibrous materials. But if it’s built after 1980, it will be highly likely to contain ACMs.
To manage fibre materials safely, remember to regularly check their condition to ensure they are in good condition and remain undisturbed. When planning a demolition or refurbishment project, always contact a licensed professional to remove the ACMs safely from your property. Furthermore, you need to inform the building occupiers and tradespeople working on your property of the location and condition of any doubtful materials.
The best way to find an expert for asbestos removal and testing
If you believe that your living or working space has fibrous materials, get in touch with us today! We offer you A-class licensed contractors for your government, commercial, and residential properties in Ballarat. Our endorsed members strive to deliver excellent services to identify and remove fibrous materials within your premises, safely and completely in the fastest way.
“It is recommended that all materials containing fibre are removed by a licensed removalist” – City of Ballarat
Our endorsed removalists offer a comprehensive range of services including asbestos removal, testing, roof removal, management plan and others. When it comes to inspecting and safely removing friable ACMs, it is best to contact an expert through us. All you have to do is contacting one or more of our approved members with a detailed description of your needs. Their team of professionals will assess the condition of the suspected material and further remove it when necessary; prompt and quickly.
Extensive ACM-related services provided by our members
No part of fibre extraction in Ballarat should be carried out by anyone except licensed removalists. It is extremely important to hire a qualified contractor so that any traces of fibrous materials are removed in accordance with the strict national law, without causing harm to the people at site and the community in general.
Asbestos Watch Ballarat is an endorsement company for A-class licensed contractors within the Ballarat region. Our approved members have thoroughly assessed to ascertain their capability in delivering the desired results for asbestos removal and testing Ballarat – at value costs. Their team of professionals can handle all your ACM-related problems by performing a safe and prompt fibre extraction process.
Our endorsed removalists offer extensive services as follows:
- Asbestos removal Ballarat – Performing a safe removal of ACMs in all area and locations. They can also perform clean-up procedure to ensure the contaminated area is safe for reoccupation.
- Asbestos testing– Conducting a pre-inspection, sampling, and testing via an accredited lab. All processes will be performed by an accredited assessor.
- Asbestos roof removal – Removing and replacing fibrous roofing materials at your premises
- Asbestos management plan – Performing risk assessments and implementing suitable control measures to develop a sound asbestos management plan and register
- Soil remediation – Testing and removing fibrous materials within the soil
- Air monitoring – Conducting a background and control air monitoring before and after asbestos testing and removal Ballarat, when required
- Demolition – Conducting a survey before a refurbishment or demolition jobs
- Consultancy services – An independent review for different projects conducted by different contractors
- Emergency repairs – Fast response upon incidents or natural disasters such as bushfires and cyclones
There are no projects that are too complex or too large for our members. When it comes to asbestos removal, testing, roof removal and management plan, trust only A-class licensed contractors in our list. Call our members today to get free and competitive quotes!
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