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Home renovators are the target of the inaugural national Asbestos Awareness Month.

During November the WHS authorities are joining forces with asbestos awareness groups to educate people about asbestos dangers in the home.

“Many wrongly believe that only fibro homes contain asbestos,” says Asbestos Awareness.

“Asbestos products can most likely be found in any Australian home built or renovated before 1987 – even brick, weatherboard, fibro and clad homes.”

Asbestos could be anywhere, such as under carpets, linoleum and vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, ceilings, eaves and backyard sheds.

“The wisest course of action is to assume that asbestos is present and take precautions,” says WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch.

He said a recent survey found 60 per cent of do-it-yourself renovators reported exposure to asbestos.

For more details, visit Asbestos Awareness and your local WHS authority.

Published on 7 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Licensed removalists must clean up fire-damaged asbestos in the wake of ongoing and recent bushfires.

Despite WorkCover NSW waiving the five-day asbestos removal notification timeframe to allow for the immediate clean-up of fire-damaged asbestos, the need to use licensed operators remains.

Also, the waiver only applies to fire-damaged properties, and removalists still need to notify WorkCover of the material to be removed.

Only those holding a Class A asbestos removal licence are permitted to remove the fire damaged material.

“Residents are being urged to seek out information on the potential risks of being exposed to asbestos and how to safely manage asbestos when cleaning up after the fire,” said WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division General Manager John Watson in a media statement.

“As firefighters and other emergency services workers assess the damage, and residents begin to repair or rebuild, we want to make people aware of the danger of asbestos.”

For more details, contact WorkCover NSW.

Published on 24 October 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Over 600 newly diagnosed mesothelioma cases have been notified for 2012, says the latest data.

The numbers were published earlier this week in the Australian Mesothelioma Registry’s (AMR) second annual report.

As at 30 June, the AMR had received 619 notifications of people being newly diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.

Of these people, 511 were men and 108 were women, and 79.6 per cent were over the age of 65 at the time of the diagnosis.

This is fewer than the 639 new diagnoses notified in 2011, which included the 612 recorded in the first annual report and an additional 27 that were notified after the annual report was published.

However, like the previous year, it is likely that notifications for 2012 will continue to come in even though the report has been published, the AMR says.

For more details, visit the mesothelioma report.

Published on 26 September 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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