Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which has been used in building material since the 1950s.
Since the New Zealand government only banned the importation of asbestos containing materials in 2016, it is possible that buildings built prior to then may contain asbestos.
Because asbestos is often mixed with other materials, it's hard to know if you're working with it or not.
Asbestos has the potential to serially damage the health of anyone who disturbs it or who uses the building.
When disturbed tiny fibres can be released which, if inhaled will bypass the bodies defence mechanisms and can become trapped in the respiratory system.
Between 1992 and 2013, New Zealand was seventh in the world for adjusted mortality rates for mesothelioma. It is expected that these rates will continue to climb.
Of the people with notified asbestos related diseases, 28% were Carpenters/Builders, 39% Plumbers / Fitters and 8% were electricians.
However, anyone who comes in to contact with these materials is at risk.
Your people are your most valuable asset.
As well as a moral responsibility to look after them, as an employer the law requires that you ensure that your workers (your own employees and any subcontractors employees) who may be involved in asbestos related work are trained.
I can help you to achieve all of your duties through the delivery of tailored asbestos awareness training to suit your company and your people.
To find out more, get in touch.