Negligent asbestos removal puts others at risk

A small business in Timaru has been fined $10,000 for failing to follow correct asbestos removal procedures. This error of judgement stems from a failure to test the building for asbestos prior to demolition.

This case highlights the importance of having an asbestos survey undertaken by a competent person and implementing an asbestos management plan. WorkSafe are reminding businesses and property owners that a negligent approach to removing asbestos not only puts you at risk but also those around you.

This message comes after Topham Holding Limited was recently sentenced in the Timaru District Court.

During the demolition of an old chicken shed in 2016, Topham Holding’s sole Director removed sheeting which contained asbestos, without first engaging a competent person to ensure the asbestos was removed. The director had ignored advice from WorkSafe a year earlier that the building was likely to contain asbestos and needed to be surveyed, and proceeded to carry out the demolition regardless.

Cheif Inspector of Investigations Keith Steward said: “Topham Holding was aware of the presence of asbestos and was negligent in ignoring the well-known risks of asbestos and our advice about the demolition.”

“No one is exempt from managing the risk of asbestos appropriately. Asbestos management is not a job for a layperson – it is a job for a competent and trained professional. It’s not just about keeping you safe and healthy – but those are you as well”.

Topman Holding Limited was sentenced under the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, as the company was a PCBU with management or control of a workplace or of a structure and yet failed to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that the asbestos was removed before demolition – a requirement under these regulations.

TriEx can assist you in ensuring you’re meeting your obligations under the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016. Call us on 0800 4 TriEx (0800 487 439) or email enquiries@triex.co.nz.

TriEx Asbestos Accreditation

TriEx – An internationally accredited asbestos service provider

When businesses select a supplier to fulfil their asbestos inspection needs, they need to be assured and confident that the Inspection Body can supply a technically competent, effective service with consistently reliable results. Assurance of this can be achieved with accreditation and TriEx have successfully gained IANZ accreditation to ISO 17020 for Surveying and Sampling for Asbestos. This allows TriEx, as an asbestos inspection body, to benchmark its work practices against the world’s best practices. This internationally recognized standard evaluates the technical competence of TriEx performing inspection activities and for the impartiality and consistency of our inspection activities.

Our dedication and focus on quality and technical accuracy is the foreground of everything we do, We are dedicated to delivering practical cost effective work place solutions and impartial advice. With your asbestos management in our hands you can focus on your core business interests, confident in the knowledge that you are compliant with your legal obligations and providing a safe built environment for your employee’s and clientele.

Our Asbestos team is lead by our asbestos manager and is supported by our team of experienced surveyors. The team are highly trained and all hold the BOHS IP402 – Surveying and Sampling for Asbestos Qualification, ensuring the results and recommendations in our technical reports are of the highest quality and integrity.

Our wide scope of accreditation now covers the following:

  • Surveying for Identification of potential Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)
  • Management Surveys (Domestic, Commercial, Industrial)
  • Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys (Domestic, Commercial, Industrial)
  • Bulk Sampling for Verification of Asbestos
  • Evaluation of survey results (including the provision of advice about the management of risks and priority assessment)
  • Re-inspection of identified or suspected asbestos containing materials in surveyed premises

If you would like to learn more about our Asbestos services please contact us on enquiries@triex.co.nz or call us on 0800 4 TRIEX (0800 487 439).

Are you ready for April 4 2018?

What is an Asbestos Management plan?

The asbestos management plan identifies the risks posed by the asbestos present in your property and sets out procedures to control them. It is a regulatory requirement under regulation 13 of the ‘Health & Safety at Work (asbestos) Regulations 2016’, that utilizes the data accumulated from asbestos surveys to manage asbestos risk.

An asbestos management plan will typically include:

  • Policies and procedures for emergencies, refurbishments, day-to-day operations and for less usual work or tasks
  • Key asbestos information‚ usually from an asbestos survey
  • Risk assessments of each occurrence of asbestos
  • Action plan
  • Monitoring & re-inspection regimes
  • Training requirements
  • Roles & responsibilities
  • Dissemination of information
  • Duties of the Asbestos Coordinator

The arrangements within the plan should be reviewed periodically. If you are unsure of where your company stands regarding compliance, you can opt for a desktop study that will clearly identify any gaps, if they exist, and offer a step-by-step guide to compliance.

With a comprehensive understanding of your needs, we will produce a tailored asbestos management plan and implement your own policies that will help you to manage the asbestos within your premises compliantly, proportionately to the risk and in accordance with current regulations.

In addition, we offer an implementation meeting to aid the initial setup of the processes involved in the management of asbestos materials. We also offer reviews of your management plan on a six-monthly basis to ensure your on-going compliance with legislation.

To find out how TriEx can help you meet your obligations email us at enquiries@triex.co.nz, or phone 0800 487 439

Does your business have an Asbestos Management Plan?

Asbestos is New Zealand’s number one killer in the workplace. Around 170 New Zealanders die each year from asbestos-related diseases. Despite this, many businesses haven’t assessed their asbestos risks under the new regulations.

Due to its strength, durability and resistance to fire and water, asbestos was widely used in building products and materials up until the 1990s. The Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016 are designed to protect as many people as possible from exposure to asbestos fibres.

Under the new Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, all persons controlling a place of work must do the following:

  • Identify any asbestos or asbestos containing material present in the building
  • Assess the risks from asbestos and identify ways to manage them
  • Develop an asbestos management plan
  • Regularly review the management plan’s effectiveness

It’s hard to know if a building does indeed contain asbestos, which is why it’s important to have a trained professional survey your premises to identify any asbestos containing materials to reduce the risk of exposure to your employees or anyone undertaking any work on your building. Not having a comprehensive asbestos management plan in place can open you up to prosecution.

To find out how TriEx can help you meet your obligations, email enquiries@triex.co.nz or phone 0800 487 439

IANZ Accreditation

TriEx is pleased to announce that we have successfully gained IANZ accreditation to ISO 17020 for Surveying and Sampling for Asbestos.

Our Asbestos team is led by our Technical Manager and supported by our team of experienced surveyors. The team are highly trained and all hold the BOHS IP402 – Surveying and Sampling for Asbestos Qualification, ensuring the results and recommendations in our technical reports are of the highest quality and integrity.

Our dedication and focus on quality and technical accuracy is the foreground of everything we do, We are dedicated to delivering practical cost effective work place solutions and impartial advice. With your asbestos management in our hands you can focus on your core business interests, confident in the knowledge that you are compliant with your legal obligations and providing a safe built environment for your employee’s and clientele.

Our wide scope of accreditation now covers the following:

– Surveying for Identification of potential Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)
– Management Surveys (Domestic, Commercial, Industrial)
– Refurbishment and Demolition Surveys (Domestic, Commercial, Industrial)
– Bulk Sampling for Verification of Asbestos
– Evaluation of survey results (including the provision of advice about the management of risks and priority assessment)
– Re-inspection of identified or suspected asbestos containing materials in surveyed premises

To learn more about our asbestos services email enquiries@triex.co.nz, or phone 0800 487 439

Asbestos Awareness Training — new to TriEx

TriEx are excited to now be offering Asbestos Awareness Training. Read all about it here

asbestoscampaign

Asbestos in the air

The hazards of possible exposure to airborne asbestos fibre has been raised recently in relation to the demolition of earthquake damaged buildings in Christchurch. The use of asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) in building construction effectively ended in the early 1980s. However, there is still a significant amount of ACM in the form of corrugated roofing material, asbestos cement sheeting used as wall linings, drainage gutterings and downpipes, in vinyl floor tiles and backing on vinyl flooring, and in some decorative products. Many of these products are still evident in buildings in the Christchurch CBD.

Accumulated dust in the roof space under asbestos cement roofing material will potentially contain loose asbestos fibre. The hazards become significant when asbestos is damaged or abraded and releases fibres into the air which are then being capable of being inhaled. Risk factors involved include the type of asbestos fibre, the quantity of fibre in the air, and the duration of exposure. The average time for symptoms to appear after initial exposure is typically 40+ years. Mesothelioma, cancers, asbestosis, and other respiratory abnormalities attributable to asbestos exposure make up the almost 1200 cases reported to the National Asbestos Medical Panel since 1992 (Safeguard Update, May 2011).

Verification of asbestos fibre in solid material usually requires a laboratory analysis. The presence of fibre in air is determined by air sampling at the exposure point. TriEx can conduct air sampling and laboratory analysis, and provide advice on the management of risks associated with asbestos as the city clean-up proceeds.

To enquire about services available to help manage your risk, or any health & safety issue – contact TriEx Health, Safety & Wellness Ltd on (03) 343 2997 or info@triex.co.nz.