Changes to ensure more safety when working with asbestos

Released 23/02/2019

The ACT Government is continuing efforts to improve the health and safety of workers by introducing amendments to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 this week.

ACT workers who are likely to encounter materials containing asbestos will now be required to complete an approved training course on handling asbestos safely.

“Asbestos is an ongoing risk to the community, and particularly the health and safety of workers,” Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety Rachel Stephen-Smith said.

“We must do everything we can to minimise the risk of serious disease to our workers from improperly handling asbestos. This includes educating workers on the risks of asbestos and best practice for handling the material.”

The ACT Government is already a leader in dealing with asbestos containing materials. Under our workplace health and safety laws, asbestos removalists and asbestos assessors must be trained and licensed to undertake work with asbestos.

The expanded course requirements will support workers not involved in asbestos removal but who may disturb asbestos as part of minor or routine work, such as drilling into a wall to install a cable.

“This new training requirement will ensure plumbers, electricians and others who might disturb asbestos in the workplace know what to do and how to protect themselves and their workmates.”

“The ACT Government consulted with the construction industry in developing these regulatory changes. While many workers within these industries have already undertaken the training course, the government wants to ensure that all at-risk workers have this important safety information.”

The amendments will commence on 1 July 2019.

- Statement ends -

Section: Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA | Media Releases

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