This year’s National Asbestos Awareness Week (22-28 November) campaign asks Australians to Think Twice About Asbestos. The campaign challenges complacency by reminding home renovators and tradespeople that the danger of asbestos is far from over.

Asbestos is still present in millions of homes, as well as public and commercial buildings, across Australia that were built before 1990.

SafeWork SA is one of hundreds of organisations working towards an Australia free of asbestos-related diseases.

Persons with management or control of a workplace are being reminded to identify asbestos at the workplace and ensure an asbestos register and asbestos management plan is prepared to reduce the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

Starting 2022, SafeWork SA inspectors will be visiting workplaces across the state to ensure sites are managing asbestos. Any person who has responsibilities for the management of asbestos should register to attend the Management of Asbestos Webinar on Wednesday, 24 November 2020.

“For anyone who thinks asbestos-related diseases are a thing of the past, think again. Asbestos is still causing cancer in Australians”, SafeWork SA Executive Director, Mr Martyn Campbell said.

“Every year in Australia, there are an estimated 4,000 deaths from past exposure to asbestos. That’s one of the highest death rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world.

“The Think Twice About Asbestos campaign reminds home renovators, builders and contractors of the dangers of damaged, disturbed or deteriorated asbestos.”

By preventing exposure to asbestos fibres, asbestos-related diseases can be eliminated.

The National Asbestos Awareness Week campaign promotes the role of licensed asbestos professionals for both home renovators and trades people.

SafeWork SA actions

South Australia is a signatory to the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness 2019-2023 (the NSP). The aim of the NSP is to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in Australia by preventing exposure to asbestos fibres.

A review of SafeWork SA’s records for asbestos related interventions during 2020 identified that there were 359 concerns raised by workers and the public. 39% of improvement notices issued for asbestos non-compliances were associated with the management of asbestos. This information and audit findings were used to compile the Asbestos Activity 2020 Health and Safety Snapshot.

Management of Asbestos Webinar

As part of Asbestos Awareness Week 2021, SafeWork SA and the Asbestos Coalition of South Australia will present an interactive forum.

Key areas of focus will include:

  • Who has management or control of the workplace
  • Asbestos registers
  • Asbestos management plans
  • Managing Demolition and Refurbishment work
  • SafeWork SA's forthcoming asbestos compliance campaign (2022)
  • A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Find further details and to register your attendance for this informative webinar.

Further information on asbestos is available at https://www.asbestos.sa.gov.au/.