|7 November 2017
November is National Asbestos Awareness Month and Wattle Range Council is urging homeowners, renovators and tradies to take the warnings about asbestos seriously when renovating or maintaining homes and learn what they need to know to manage it safely by visiting asbestosawareness.com.au
Council’s Manager of Development, Health & Compliance, John Best said, “Asbestos was used everywhere. So, if you’re a homeowner, renovator or tradie, and you don’t know the risks, the products to look for or how to manage asbestos safely, you could be risking your life and the lives of others if you disturb asbestos-containing materials and release fibres into the air that can be inhaled,”
If well maintained and left undisturbed asbestos is unlikely to pose a health risk. However, if asbestos-containing materials are disturbed and fibres are released they can cause asbestos-related diseases including incurable malignant mesothelioma which can develop between 20-50 years after inhaling asbestos fibres. The average survival time is 10-12 months following diagnosis.
“One of the greatest health threats to families and tradespeople is asbestos fibres during renovations and maintenance so if you’re a renovator or a tradie, when it comes to asbestos visit asbestosawareness.com.au to learn what you need to know.” Mr Best said.
Renovators should visit asbestosawareness.com.au for user-friendly information including the Asbestos in Your Home – The Ultimate Renovators Guide video and the 20 Point Safety Check. They can search Australia’s only online Asbestos Product Database, download Fact Sheets and the user-friendly Asbestos Awareness Healthy House Checklist – A Homeowner’s Guide to Identifying Asbestos-Containing Materials.
The Checklist is a step-by-step guide that helps homeowners conduct a fast and easy visual inspection of their home. Using the Guide homeowners can easily identify any suspected asbestos-containing materials and note its locations to avoid disturbing asbestos and know when to engage an asbestos assessor or removalist to prevent families from being exposed to dangerous fibres.
“The more a person is exposed to asbestos fibres, the greater the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. Tradies are most at risk of exposure to fibres because they are more likely to come into contact with asbestos in their day-to-day work.
“Although some tradies may have worked with asbestos in the past and ignored the warnings, they need to take the warnings seriously and learn where asbestos might be, how to manage it safely and when to engage trained experts to conduct asbestos-related work or remove asbestos-containing materials safely.
“Fact Sheets and the Residential Checklist for Tradies – A Tradespersons Guide to Asbestos are valuable tools for every tradie enabling them to conduct simple visual inspections of properties to know potential risks ensuring that asbestos is managed safely and in accordance with regulations,” said Mr Best.
When it comes to asbestos, don’t play Renovation Roulette! Don’t cut it! Don’t drill it! Don’t drop it! Don’t sand it! Don’t saw it! Don’t scrape it! Don’t scrub it! Don’t dismantle it! Don’t tip it! Don’t waterblast it! Don’t demolish it! And whatever you do... Don’t dump it! Visit asbestosawareness.com.au - It’s not worth the risk!
For further information please contact:
Steve Chapple – Director Development Services
Telephone: (08) 8733 0900