In the event of the discovery of a hazardous material - especially asbestos - it is imperative that the organisation put in place a comprehensive strategy to manage the many significant issues that frequently arise within the first 24 hours.
We have developed a well-proven Critical Response Management Strategy that can be brought rapidly into effect to assist in managing an emergency HAZMAT Incident. To access our 24 hour 7 day per week HAZMAT Critical Incident Response Service, please contact 1300 HAZ MAT at any time and from anywhere in Australia (1300 429 628).
Experienced Heggies HAZMAT consultants are available immediately to guide your senior management in addressing all key issues proactively and effectively:
- An Emergency Response Plan to Protect People and Isolate the HAZMAT Area
- Establish Legal Privilege - Enhances Effective Communication with all Stakeholders
- A Critical Incident Strategic Management Plan to Control Actions and Responses
- Consultants to Conduct Surveys/Inspections - Develop Decontamination Plans
- Advice on Managing all Internal and External Consultation and Communication
- Liaison with WorkCover and other Authorities - Staff Training
- Supervision of Decontamination and Remediation Works
- Ongoing HAZMAT Monitoring and Provision of a Clearance Certification
Exposure to airborne asbestos poses a Serious Health Risk. It has been proven to cause lung cancer when the fibres are inhaled. Unless properly managed, asbestos-exposed workers have an increased risk of contracting two principal types of cancer: cancer of the lung tissue itself and mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin membrane that surrounds the lung and other internal organs. These diseases do not develop immediately following exposure to asbestos, but appear only after a number of years.
By law, asbestos removal or encapsulation must be carried out by qualified and licensed Asbestos Contractors. Persons with control of premises have obligations and duties to ensure that the exposure of workers and other persons to asbestos is either eliminated or kept as low as reasonably practicable - and in all circumstances is kept below the National Exposure Standard (NES). The management of Asbestos in Soil has special requirements.
Asbestos is one of the most prevalent hazardous materials in Australia. It is a natural mineral fibre that was widely used in Australia during the middle of the Century (Late 1940's- Early 1980's) in a range of building materials, such as insulation, vinyl flooring and other building materials. Fibro being widely used in the early 60's-mid 80's containing asbestos.
Blue (crocidolite) and brown (amosite) asbestos being banned in 1985 and white (chrysotile) not banned in friction materials (eg car brake pads) until the end of 2003.
Fibro had all the three types of Asbestos being used up until 1985 (with stockpiles still around/ used til 1986) Potential Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) include:
- Cement Pipes
- Asphalt Floor Tiles
- Construction Mastics (floor tile, carpet, ceiling tile, etc.)
- Fireproofing Materials
- Elevator Equipment Panels
- Thermal Paper Products
- Electric Wiring Insulation
- Roofing Shingles
- Boiler Insulation
- Textured Paints/Coatings
- Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops
- Fire Curtains
Managing and controlling in-situ asbestos in the workplace should focus upon:
- Identifying the asbestos containing materials (ACM)
- Assessing the health risks associated with that ACM
- Implementing control measures to eliminate risks and prevent exposure to airborne asbestos fibres
The following hierarchy of controls should be adopted, ranked from most preferred to least preferred:
- Elimination or Removal
- Isolation OR Enclosure OR Sealing
- Engineering Controls
- Safe Work Practices (OHS Administrative Controls)
- Personal Protective Equipment
If you would like to receive more information about these services or speak with a consultant, please contact us here. Heggies is a wholly owned Australian Company for over 25 years, operating in Australian from 8 offices country-wide, with over 130 staff.