Renovators Ignorant of Asbestos Exposure Could Put the Community at Risk
A home renovation job may seem simple and straightforward enough, but being a responsible tradesperson means that you should take every precaution and follow all the correct measures for ensuring that your work is carried out with causing harm to homeowners, their families, the professionals performing the job, and the community in general. This is especially true in Australia, where extra care must be taken with renovation jobs because of the presence of asbestos.
Asbestos pertains to mineral fibres that possess properties such as strength, fire resistance, versatility and insulation. Thanks to these qualities, asbestos was used as a component of many different building products, which means that about a third of all homes built in Australia contain these asbestos products.
When inhaled, asbestos fibres (which cannot be seen with the naked eye and are present in varying levels in the air we breathe) can cause serious health conditions and diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural disease.
For tradespeople, it is a must to first determine whether the home or building they will be working on has asbestos-containing materials or ACMs before starting any work. Working with asbestos generally refers to cleaning, breaking, cutting, repairing, removing, maintaining, using storing, and separating asbestos from other building waste.
Observing appropriate practices
Renovators ignorant of asbestos exposure possibilities and consequences should be fully educated and trained on proper asbestos handling practices before they can be allowed to perform the work.
Initially, renovators may consider possible alternatives to handling asbestos. A good first step would be to take samples from the work area and have them tested from a NATA accredited facility before doing anything to the proposed site. They could, perhaps, explore the idea of leaving asbestos materials in good condition untouched, or to work around any existing asbestos materials. Sealing or painting asbestos products in lieu of removing them can also be done. And then there’s the option of having professionals asbestos removalists take care of the material instead of renovators taking on the job themselves.
In addition, the following preparations must be made:
• Seek advice from the local council regarding all permits and approvals for the work you will be doing.
• Obtain the necessary tools and equipment that will make working with asbestos effective, efficient and safe for everyone involved.
• Plan in advance how the asbestos materials will be properly disposed of.
• Observe proper measures for keeping yourself and the rest of the renovation team protected from asbestos exposure while working.
• Make arrangements for working with asbestos without negatively affecting the people, pets, environment and structures surrounding your work area.
Call Jim’s Asbestos Removal on 131 546 or book online now for your free no-obligation quote!