Asbestos register starts
A national asbestos exposure register has been created in the wake of the National Broadband Network (NBN) asbestos scare.
As previously reported, Telstra is digging up thousands of cable pits in preparation for the rollout of the NBN for the federal government. Many of these pits are lined with asbestos.
Two weeks ago, some of this work was suspended when contractors were found to be smashing pits without taking appropriate precautions.
A new asbestos exposure register has been set up as part of the response to the problem.
Any member of the community who thinks they have been exposed to asbestos-containing materials in any context, not just through Telstra pits and the NBN, can register their exposure details.
The register captures the identification details of the person exposed to the asbestos, details of the suspected asbestos exposure, witness details, and whether the person has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
The register is managed by the Office of Asbestos Safety and Professor Chris Baggoley, chief medical officer of the Department of Health and Ageing.
Meanwhile, The federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten says in a media statement that work won’t recommence in certain Telstra pits until Telstra and NBN employees and contractors are trained in the safe removal and handling of asbestos from the pits.
However, work will continue in pits that do not contain asbestos.
For more details, visit the register and the minister.