SafeWork cracks down on unsafe tradies as Asbestos Awareness Week kicks off

Media Release | 20/11/2017

SafeWork NSW has reminded tradies to use proper safety measures at work as Asbestos Awareness Week kicks off in NSW.

Earlier this year, SafeWork issued a warning after tradies were caught using high-pressure water blasters to clean roofs at two northern beaches properties, and a Central Coast commercial complex.

The latest incidents occurred at a residential property at Kirrawee and Doonside.

These offences can incur fines of $3,600 for individuals, and $18,000 for body corporates.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said it was a timely reminder to work safely as Asbestos Awareness Week kicks off.

“Using these blasters can disturb asbestos and release dangerous fibres that can pose a health risk to the user and people living or working in neighbouring properties,” Mr Dunphy said.

“We don’t need careless behaviour like this creating an unnecessary risk to people’s health.

“These individuals just don’t seem to be heeding our warnings so let this be a message that we will be taking strong action against anyone not doing the right thing.”

In NSW, there are legal requirements regarding asbestos management, its removal, and disposal.

If left undisturbed, asbestos materials in good, stable condition are unlikely to release dangerous fibres and pose a health risk.

However, if asbestos is disturbed - during renovations or maintenance for instance - it can create a health risk from the inhalation of airborne fibres.

It’s recommended property owners only use qualified asbestos removalists licensed by SafeWork NSW to ensure asbestos is safely and properly removed.

“If you must work with material that may contain asbestos or remove asbestos, it’s critical you protect yourself and your family by managing it according to our safety standards,” Mr Dunphy said.

A list of licensed asbestos removalists can be found at

For information on Asbestos Awareness Week and safe asbestos management call 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378) or visit

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