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4 Ways to Manage Asbestos on The Worksite

The Ministry of Education and contractors are currently facing scrutiny for their handling of asbestos-containing materials in schools. This issue highlights a broader concern in construction and property management that needs urgent attention.

Drawing from his extensive experience during the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and residential rebuild, Matt Jones, Director of Advanced Safety, offers valuable insights into managing asbestos effectively. Here are his top four tips for successfully handling projects that may involve asbestos-containing materials:

  1. Conduct Adequate Surveys Before Construction
    The importance of thorough surveys before embarking on construction projects cannot be overstated. Identifying asbestos-containing materials early ensures proper handling and mitigates health risks.

  2. Address the Lack of Destructive Surveys Nationwide
    A significant problem in New Zealand is the lack of destructive surveys, which are essential for uncovering hidden asbestos. This gap in practice leaves many sites at risk, and addressing it should be a national priority.

  3. Increase Training and Awareness
    Training and awareness about asbestos-containing materials are crucial. Many individuals involved in construction still do not know what to look for, which poses a significant risk. Comprehensive training programmes are necessary to equip workers with the knowledge to identify and manage asbestos safely.

  4. Develop Robust Emergency Response Plans
    Emergency response plans for the discovery of asbestos are essential but currently lacking in many projects. Having a clear, effective response strategy in place can prevent panic and ensure that the asbestos is managed safely and efficiently.

Reflecting on his experiences, Matt emphasises the critical need for a proactive and informed approach to managing asbestos. By implementing these strategies, contractors and organisations can significantly reduce the risks associated with asbestos, ensuring safer environments for everyone involved.

Watch Matt's talk on the subject here -

Reach out to discuss your current health and safety management system strengths and opportunities for improvement by getting in touch today.

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