Tags to provide protection from Mr Fluffy asbestos

Released 19/08/2014

Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, has announced the rollout of high visibility tags in meter boxes for Mr Fluffy homes in Canberra to make it easier for tradespeople to know when they are working on a house which contains the loose-fill asbestos.

Homes affected by loose-fill asbestos will be required by law to have tags fixed in their meter boxes making it easier for tradespeople to identify properties.

"It is important that the government focus not only on those living in affected Mr Fluffy houses, but also apply strategies to protect tradespeople and other workers who may come into contact with affected homes," the Chief Minister said.

"This legal requirement to display a tag in the meter box is the latest step to deal with the Mr Fluffy situation and balances the need to ensure tradespeople and workers are aware a home is affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation against the personal interests of homeowners and occupiers who have requested their privacy be respected.

The tags which are made from an industrial strength self-adhesive vinyl will be required to be affixed to meter boxes from next month. The tags will be free of charge and homeowners will have the option to affix tags themselves, or have them placed by WorkSafe ACT.

All tags will be placed in meter boxes by January 1, 2015 and from this point penalties will apply to affected houses without the tags in place. Once affixed, it is a penalty to remove them prior to 1 January 2015.

The Chief Minister said tagging was only one of the ways workers could raise their awareness in working with asbestos.

"All workers must be trained in risks they may encounter as part of their work. The ACT Government has recently mandated asbestos awareness training for all tradespeople and other workers who may come into contact with asbestos. This training, which specifically deals with Mr Fluffy asbestos, must be undertaken by 30 September this year," the Chief Minister said.

"Tradespeople should also continue to discuss the circumstance of homes they may be working on with homeowners, ask for copies of any asbestos assessment reports for the property and engage appropriately licensed asbestos experts to assist with the work to be undertaken.

"It is also important to note that the law does not absolve a homeowner's responsibility to inform tradespeople that their home is affected by Mr Fluffy insulation, or to provide a copy of any asbestos assessment report."

The ACT Government, through the Asbestos Response Taskforce will work with industry and stakeholders to disseminate information on this new requirement.

Tags will be available for affected homeowners free of charge from licensed asbestos assessors, WorkSafe ACT and the Asbestos Response Taskforce in coming weeks.

- Statement ends -

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