SafeWork SA and the Environment Protection Authority are undertaking audits of the state’s licensed asbestos removalists to ensure safe practices at their depots and worksites.
The health dangers of asbestos made a review critical, according to SafeWork SA acting executive director Juanita Lovatt.
“We cannot underestimate the harmful effects of asbestos fibres, and that is why Australia banned its production, importation and use many years ago,” Lovatt said.
“The safe removal of asbestos – from identification to disposal – is crucial not just for the occupants of buildings and homes where it is found, but for the workers who must carry out the job.”
Lovatt said illegal removal of asbestos, unsafe transport and dumping of asbestos are areas of concern to SafeWork SA and the EPA.
“This review of the licensees is to make sure that they are complying with the terms of the licence. The rules are there to address the known risks and to reduce illness and death from inhaling asbestos fibres.
“Those who fail to meet their licensing obligations will be issued with appropriate compliance notices,” Lovatt said.
The first phase of the audits is expected to be completed by January 2013, and the findings will be provided to industry and stakeholders to help the industry improve health and safety.