Asbestos has hit the headlines again after the discovery of the fibrous carcinogen during the demolition work at Ara Institute of Canterbury’s Christchurch campus. The discovery is expected to add $560,000 more than budgeted to the demolition costs.
WorkSafe has launched a new tool on its website to help businesses develop their asbestos management plans.
Businesses have a duty to manage risks associated with asbestos exposure, including completing an asbestos management plan if required.
The plan must be kept at the workplace and be available to workers and other businesses operating there.
“WorkSafe responded to feedback and worked with businesses to develop an easy-to-use template that guides them through the process of providing the required information,” WorkSafe Head of Health and Technical Services Catherine Epps says.
An asbestos management plan sets out where any identified asbestos or asbestos-containing material (ACM) is present, its condition and how it will be managed.
These plans are required by the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 for workplaces where asbestos or ACM has been identified, or is likely to be present.
“We have a goal of reducing asbestos-related disease by 50 percent by the year 2040,” Catherine says.
“Our asbestos licensing regime is designed to protect the health of workers and others.
“The hazardous product is still found in many buildings and structures, but with good information businesses can make robust decisions to protect workers and others who might be at risk.”
WorkSafe has comprehensive information on its website, including what businesses are required to do about managing asbestos exposure risks.
Earlier this month, Christchurch played prestigious host to the country’s fifth Contaminated Land Conference. An inaugural event for the city, it brought together local and international speakers across the industry and saw hundreds of professionals descend on Christchurch.
It’s a timely event for New Zealand, which has just ushered in new guidelines for assessing and managing asbestos in soil, and follows on from the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, which came into force on 4 April 2016, MBC co-owner Mark Hamilton says.
“This is a fantastic new development for the industry, both from a legislative point of view and a practical on the ground perspective,” he says.
“We’ve been working in limbo. While there’s been Western Australian guidelines used as a proxy here in New Zealand, now we finally have our own standards that are applicable to us.”
The New Zealand Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Asbestos in Soil takes New Zealand industry step by step through the process of identifying, assessing and managing asbestos in soil, providing a practical approach specific to our soils, climate, lifestyle, history and regulations.
Locally owned by Mark Hamilton and Felicity Drennan, MBC is a Licenced Asbestos Removalist, but offers a full suite of environmental management services, including asbestos and mould removal, chemical decontamination, contaminated land remediation, erosion and sediment control.
For further information on asbestos or mould removal, any of MBC’s other environmental services, or to get a free quote, visit www.mbc.co.nz, phone 03-354 4377.
If you own, manage or occupy a building that’s a workplace, you should be up to speed with some regulations that will affect you. On Wednesday 4 April, 2018, important sections of the Health & Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations came in to force. There has been a two-year grace period to get organised and the deadline is now here.
What does this mean for you? In short, if you know (or ought to know!) that asbestos is likely to be present in your building, you need to be actively managing it. You should be well on your way to preparing an Asbestos Management Plan by now.
This important document outlines where asbestos is and how it will be managed. It must include information about the location, how you will manage associated risks, what procedures you’ll follow if you need to disturb it, how you record incidents and emergencies relating to it and a timetable for activities, such as regular reviews.
Anyone undertaking maintenance or repairs in your workplace should be asking for a copy of your Asbestos Management Plan, prior to commencing works, to ensure they don’t expose themselves or others to asbestos.
WorkSafe has produced some great guidance on the new requirements. Check out their website for more information. Ignorance will no longer be accepted as an excuse for not actively managing New Zealand’s number one workplace killer: asbestos exposure. Be proactive and don’t get caught out.
Encompassing the surroundings and conditions in which we live and work, our environments are some of the most important considerations when it comes to our overall health and wellness.
Mould and asbestos are two of the most common environmental hazards, ones which we are all too familiar with on a local level as our city rebuilds, from the ground up.
However, it is comforting to know that locally owned firm MBC has the experience and know how to make your home asbestos and mould free.
Owned by Mark Hamilton and Felicity Drennan, MBC specialises in a wide range of tasks that cater specifically to managing the environment, which sometimes is no easy task.
A Licenced Asbestos Removalist, MBC is able to undertake any asbestos removal project, large or small. With years of experience in public, commercial and residential sectors, no job is too much for the team.
With a strong record of providing successful mould removal, MBC can also provide a simple clean through to a complete strip out, with competitive rates combined with superior workmanship.
Asbestos and mould removal services are complemented by chemical decontamination, contaminated land remediation, erosion and sediment control.
For further information on asbestos or mould removal, any of MBC’s other environmental services, or to get a free quote, visit www.mbc.co.nz or phone 03-354 4377.