asbestos-related_disease_indicators.doc

Accessed 12 february 2010 ww w nhmrcgo htm asthma

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Accessed 12 February 2010, <ww w .nhmrc.go v.au/your_health/issues/asbestos. htm>. Asthma Foundation of South Australia . Asbestos Related Lung Diseases. Accessed 4 March 2010, <www.asthmasa.org.au/index.php/ selectedContent/1038736473>. Workers Health Centre. Asbestos - A Major Health Hazard for Workers. 9 ... Safe Work Australia
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4 Prevention policy Asbestos products were gradually removed from production and sale in Australia from the 1980s. An Australia-wide ban took effect on 31 December 2003. Due to this prohibition, materials containing asbestos fibres are no longer able to be imported, manufactured, supplied, stored, transported, sold, used, reused, installed or replaced (Safe Work Australia 2010b). The prohibition bans all uses of asbestos but does not extend to the removal of asbestos products that were in place on 31 December 2003. For this reason, some asbestos products are still present and need regulation to ensure that management or removal does not result in exposure to airborne asbestos fibres. Despite the Australia-wide ban, some asbestos materials may continue to be unintentionally imported into the country. Importers or retailers who suspect they may have products that contain asbestos are required to immediately inform their state or territory workcover authority. The suspect materials are to be tested by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited testing facility. The development of national model regulations for asbestos aims to harmonise jurisdictional regulations and provide, for the first time, a consistent framework for the minimisation of exposure; the removal of asbestos; and the management of remaining asbestos materials in workplaces. The Safe Work Australia website contains further information on the model work health and safety laws. According to the Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces, “ The ultimate goal is for all workplaces to be free of asbestos containing materials. Where practicable, consideration should be given to the removal of asbestos containing materials during renovation, refurbishment, and maintenance, rather than other control measures such as enclosure, encapsulation or sealing.” Asbestos products which were in-situ on 31 December 2003 may only be replaced by products which do not contain asbestos. The substantial risk to workers from exposure to asbestos fibres necessitates strict adherence to work health and safety guidelines when working with in-situ asbestos. A recent Safe W ork Australia report titled, Asbestos Exposure and Compliance Study of Construction and Maintenance Workers, determined current levels of awareness; compliance with legislation; attitudes; and levels of exposure to asbestos. The study found that although most construction and maintenance tradespersons were aware of the potential health risks of asbestos, this was not accompanied by a knowledge of how to recognise asbestos containing materials. It also found that most tradespersons in the study thought they were protecting themselves adequately against exposure. But they were not generally complying with safety procedures as well as they believed. The study also found that there was inappropriate disposal of asbestos and asbestos-contaminated materials.
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