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

 

Asbestos removal not just a risk for the worker

Asbestos removal not just a risk for the worker

Almost 50 years after New Zealand businesses working in and around construction were first made aware of the risks of asbestos, removal of the cancer causing material is still not being managed effectively says WorkSafe New Zealand.

“Asbestos is New Zealand’s number one killer in the workplace with around 170 people dying every year from asbestos-related diseases,” says WorkSafe Deputy General Manager, Investigations and Specialist Services, Simon Humphries.

WorkSafe says those working in construction need to be more diligent when it comes to managing asbestos removal because it is not just “yourself” at risk.

“Asbestos fibres can travel thousands of kilometres from a site where removal work is undertaken under certain weather conditions. Negligence is unacceptable and there is no excuse for putting the lives of others in and around your workplace at risk.”

WorkSafe’s comments follow the sentencing of John Carstairs Robertson in New Plymouth District Court today on health and safety charges relating to unsafe removal of asbestos.

In February 2017, Mr Robertson began work on a New Plymouth property to remove asbestos containing material from a shed. His conduct departed significantly from current asbestos regulations and included the use of hand tools to break up asbestos containing material, no use of masks or proper protective clothing, and no management of airborne asbestos particles.

WorkSafe’s investigation found that Mr Robertson had failed to manage the risk of asbestos appropriately, despite training and a prior improvement notice. WorkSafe was not notified of the class B removal work.
“No asbestos removal plan was prepared and Mr Roberston’s haphazard removal work not only put himself and a worker at risk, but the occupier and visitors to the property, and those in the neighbouring area,” Mr Humphries said.
Notes:

- A fine of $35,000 was imposed.
- Reparation of $2580.59 was ordered for site remediation.
- Costs of $1297.50 were ordered.
- John Carstairs Robertson faced three charges:
1. Regulations 34(1) and 34(5) of the Health and Safety at Work (asbestos) Regulations 2016
Being a licensed asbestos removalist failed to give written notice to WorkSafe at least 5 days before the removalist commences licensed asbestos removal work.
Maximum penalty of a fine not exceeding $6000.
2. Section 36(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
Being a PCBU, failed to ensure., so far as was reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of other persons, was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, namely the removal of asbestos cladding.
Maximum penalty of a fine not exceeding $300,000.
3. Section 36(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
Being a PCBU who is a self-employed person, failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers who worked for the PCBU while at work in the business of removal of asbestos cladding.
Maximum penalty of a fine not exceeding $300,000.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>

ALSO:


Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: