Checklist promotes asbestos safety

A new tool has been launched to help home renovators better identify asbestos before any work gets underway.

 

The Residential Asbestos Checklist was launched prior to the start of Asbestos Awareness Week on Monday 27 November.

 

The checklist encourages renovators to check when their home was built, and visually inspect their property to identify potential asbestos products.

 

The list was developed by the Asbestos Coalition of South Australia, and was modelled on a national list available on the asbestos awareness website.

 

Home owners are urged to engage qualified professionals to undertake sampling and removal of suspect materials, protecting themselves and their families from unnecessary risk.

 

The information includes photos from typical South Australian houses, helping local renovators to visualise and identify potential asbestos in their homes.

 

The checklist is available at www.asbestos.sa.gov.au.

 

Background

SafeWork SA received nearly 1000 phone calls from people seeking information on asbestos between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. Approximately thirty percent of enquiries related to the removal of asbestos products, and 14 percent related to residential homes.

 

Asbestos was widely used in Australia prior to 1990. More than 600 people in Australia are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases each year, and this number is expected to peak in 2020 due to decades-long latency periods.

 

Asbestos Awareness Week runs from 27 November - 1 December 2017 and focuses on the dangers of asbestos to raise awareness of safe identification and handling procedures.

 

It was preceded by memorial services on Friday 24 November, which remembers those who have lost their lives due to asbestos-related diseases and the impact on their families and the South Australian community.

 

Industrial Relations Minister John Rau said, "Regardless of whether you’re a DIY renovator or a contractor, it’s essential to remain vigilant when working on a property.

 

The risks posed by asbestos are simply too great, which is why people need to take every step possible to protect themselves when doing this work.

 

This checklist offers simple, practical advice that helps people understand the risks of asbestos and how to identify it before undertaking any sort of renovation work.

 

29 November 2017.