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Mismanagement of asbestos removal unacceptable

Motueka company Bays Boating Limited were fined $108,000 at the Nelson District Court today following a WorkSafe prosecution for the unsafe removal of asbestos.

In August 2018, the company began demolition work on a building known to have asbestos in both its roof and walls, without safely removing the asbestos it first.

An estimated 220 people die from asbestos-related disease each year in New Zealand and WorkSafe is reminding businesses that the mismanagement of asbestos removal is unacceptable.

WorkSafe’s Principal Advisor for Asbestos Robert Birse said despite being aware of the presence of asbestos, the company cut corners and carried out unsafe demolition work.

“The company should have ensured there was no asbestos in the building by engaging a competent licensed person to complete the safe removal before demolition work commenced” said Mr Birse.

“The dangers of asbestos are well known by those in the industry and the wider public. It is unacceptable that Bays Boating Limited allowed a building containing asbestos to be demolished without having the asbestos removed first.”
“When it comes time to renovate or demolish buildings where asbestos may be present, people need to remember they are required to have an asbestos removal control plan in place, or they run a very real risk of exposing workers and members of the public to harmful asbestos fibres”.

For more information on the safe removal of asbestos visit WorkSafe’s website https://worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/asbestos/.

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