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Stay safe around asbestos

asbestos-tapeAsbestos is deadly. And it is in more products than you may realise.

This week is National Asbestos Awareness Week, bringing the dangers that asbestos poses back into the ight.

Inhaling asbestos fibres, even in very small quantitis, is associated with diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

There is no identified safe level of exposure for asbestos.

Even though asbestos is no longer used in products, asbestos-related diseases continue to be diagnosed. Homeowners and tradies are being exposed to asbestos fibres during home maintenance or renovation. Asbestos is prevelant in most Australian homes built, or renovated, before 1990s. Not just in older fibro homes.

That’s about one in every three Australian homes.

If possible avoid damaging or interfering with asbestos materials. But if you are a tradie and work on domestic properties you will more than likley come into contact with asbestos frequently.

Asbestos remains widespread in Australian homes. It is regularly used in electrical meter enclosures, switchboard packing plates. Behind these boards there may be panels of asbestos cement sheet, asbestos insulation board or asbestos millboard. Products made from asbestos cement include fibro sheeting, water, drainage and flue pipes, roofing shingles, guttering and floor as well as wall coverings.

Regulations on asbestos management can vary in each State and Territory, but it’s essential as contractors you provide your employees with appropriate information and instruction of the risks and controls necessary to work safety, to minimise risks to both their health and others.

How ME Safety can support you

All levels of ME Safety contain information on working safely with asbestos which include:

  • Asbestos SWMS
  • Safe work with asbestos procedures: including suggestions on how to approach cutting and drilling suspected asbestos contaminated materials.

In both ME Safety Essential and Pro, a detailed Safety Meeting is included on how to work safely with asbestos which includes an assessment which will assist you to identify if you or your staff understand the content.

Be Aware. Be Compliant. Be Supported. Be Safe. Don’t risk working with asbestos. Become a Master Electrician today. For more information or support with asbestos, join here.

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Contact the MEA Safety Team

All Master Electricians have access to an entry-level safety system as part of their membership.

Call 1300 889 198 or Email mesafety@mea.asn.au