Safe Work Australia last week released a report on the incidence of Mesothelioma from 1982 to 2008 and mortality from 1997 to 2007. The data was collected nationally by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House (NCSCH). Males were over represented for both incidence of Mesothelioma and deaths, with males making up 84% of deaths. It is expected that that Mesothelioma incidence will peak in 2014 using a model based on exposure to asbestos, age and the calendar year.
The main asbestos exposure route is inhalation of airborne asbestos fibres in the workplace. To reduce exposure it is a legislative requirement that all Australian workplaces containing asbestos must be audited and have an Asbestos Register onsite of all known or suspected asbestos containing materials.
The person in control of premises such as a building owner, building manager or employer must ensure an Asbestos Audit is carried out and an Asbestos Register is onsite at all times. This fulfills their obligations by:
- Meeting health and safety legislative requirements for the register and management of asbestos in the workplace covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 and The National Code of Practice for the Management and Control of Asbestos in Workplaces [NOHSC: 2018 (2005)].
By carrying out asbestos audits you will;
- Minimise exposure to legal liabilities from tenant’s contractors and/or employees
- Avoid unfavourable media exposure, publicity and union stop work action
A work place must contain an annually updated register of all asbestos materials onsite, the Asbestos Register must be produced by a competent person and all materials must be labeled. Failure to comply with legislation can result in a punishable fine.