Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Negligent asbestos removal puts others at risk

Media release -

Negligent asbestos removal puts others at risk

WorkSafe is reminding businesses and property owners that a negligent approach to removing asbestos does not only put you at risk, but also those around you.

The message comes after Topham Holding Limited, a small farming business on the outskirts of Timaru, was sentenced today in the Timaru District Court.

During the demolition of an old chicken shed in 2016, Topham Holding’s sole Director removed sheeting which contained asbestos, without first engaging a competent person to ensure the asbestos was removed. This was despite advice from WorkSafe to Topham Holding a year earlier that there would need to be close management of any asbestos removal.

The asbestos removal did not meet the requirements of asbestos regulations.

WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Investigations Keith Stewart said

“Topham Holding was aware of the presence of asbestos and was negligent in ignoring the well-known risks of asbestos and our advice about the demolition process.”

Mesothelioma, the cancer caused by asbestos, is the origin of one in five cancer deaths with an occupational link. Respiratory illness such as asbestosis makes up 20% of work-related deaths.

In 2010, mesothelioma accounted for 100 occupational deaths in New Zealand.

“No-one is exempt from managing the risk of asbestos appropriately. Asbestos management is not a job for a layperson – it is a job for a competent and trained professional. It’s not just about keeping you safe and healthy – but those around you as well”.


- Topham Holding Limited was convicted and fined $10,000

- Topham Holding Limited was sentenced under the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016.

• Being a PCBU with management or control of a workplace, or of a structure, failed to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, that the asbestos was removed before demolition commenced.

- The maximum penalty was a fine not exceeding $50,000.

WorkSafe has lots of asbestos related guidance and an approved code of practice – including how to prepare asbestos management plans. Visit the websitehere.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


BusinessDesk: Body massages and Uber are in, DVDs are out, says Stats NZ

Statistics New Zealand has rejigged the consumers price index basket in its latest three-year review, adding body massages, Airbnb and Uber and removing DVD and Blu-Ray players…More>>


StuffMe: Commerce Commission Welcomes Dismissal Of Merger Appeal

In a summary of their judgment released today, Justice Dobson and lay member Professor Martin Richardson dismissed the appellants’ process criticisms and found the Commission was entitled to place significant weight on the prospect of reduced quality of the products produced by the merged entity. More>>


Digital Futures: New Chief Technology Officer Role Created

Communications Minister Clare Curran has called for expressions of interest for the new role of Chief Technology Officer position to help drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand. More>>

Dry: Beef + Lamb Launches Drought Resources

The resources include a fact sheet outlining strategies to manage and mitigate the effects of drought, coping with stress on the farm and advice on feed requirements and animal welfare during the dry period. More>>


InternetNZ: Net Neutrality Failure In US "Will Hurt All Users"

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter has condemned the decision by the United States communications regulator to undo 2015 open Internet rules, warning that all Internet users will end up worse off as a result. More>>