February 20, 2019

Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home



A Trader who exposed a Leeds couple to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos dust has been given a suspended jail term.

Clive Raper, 49, took a job to remove asbestos insulating board from the garage of the couple’s home in Bramhope without a legal licence.

Trading as Bramley Asbestos Removals, he hired workers to help him but failed to take vital safety precautions or implement legal controls to protect people and the environment.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Raper for safety breaches after investigating the incident in July 2011.

The court heard Raper left asbestos debris and residue at the site, compounding the owners’ risk of inhaling the potentially cancer-causing substance.

They were so concerned with how the garage was left they contacted Leeds Council, which reported the matter to the HSE.

Raper, of Fawcett Gardens, Lower Wortley, admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Control of Asbestos Regulations.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £260 in costs.

HSE inspector Paul Yeadon said: “It is appalling that a trader who is fully familiar with the restrictions governing asbestos wilfully ignores them and puts a household and the workers he has hired in danger.

“It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and wellbeing of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well.

“We were unable to identify the two workers involved as Mr Raper could not provide their full names or contact details. We do think, however, that they were probably both exposed to asbestos fibres above the action level.

“This kind of work must be carried out by competent people with the necessary licence.”

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Trader left deadly asbestos dust at couple’s Leeds home

Loose asbestos in house

Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck.

Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck.

THE NSW Privacy Act stands in the way of a loose-fill asbestos taskforce naming the town in Greater Hume Shire where a property tested positive for the deadly insulation.

The finding has prompted Greater Hume Council to encourage people with loose-fill asbestos in their roof to register for the NSW government’s free testing program.

Greater Hume general manager Steve Pinnuck said the council had been advised of the location of the house which tested positive, but could not disclose exactly whether that property was in Jindera, Culcairn, Holbrook or any other shire town.

Neighbours of the affected property have not been notified.

“The homeowner has been made aware and there is assistance available to householders in the way of short-term accommodation, as well as replacement of soft furnishings and clothing,” Mr Pinnuck said.

A NSW loose-fill asbestos insulation taskforce spokesman said the NSW Privacy Act prevented the taskforce from revealing the location.

“The taskforce is not able to confirm the location of a property without the written consent of the owner,” he said.

Early last month a house in the Berrigan Shire Council became the first property in the southern Riverina to test positive, bringing the number of affected properties in NSW to 58.

A testing program was introduced in response to problems identified with those houses where a private contractor from Canberra known as Mr Fluffy had pumped friable loose asbestos fibre into their roof between 1968 and 1980.

Most of the properties affected are in the ACT.

Mr Pinnuck said the council was surprised to be one of the 26 local government areas named as a possible location where loose-fill asbestos was installed.

“There’s been at least one property and there could be more,” he said.

The taskforce spokesman said the property in the Greater Hume Shire participated in an independent investigation into loose-fill asbestos in NSW’s free ceiling insulation testing program.

He said a free independent technical assessment by a licensed asbestos assessor would now be offered to the property owners as part of the taskforce’s “Make Safe” assistance package.

The council will work with the taskforce and provide appropriate support and assistance to the affected owner.

Anyone wanting to arrange a free sample test should phone 13 77 88.


Loose asbestos in house

Man suffering from asbestos poisoning died at St Wilfrid’s

A 75-year old Hailsham man suffering from asbestos poisoning died a week after being admitted to St Wilfrid’s Hospice, an inquest has heard.

James Spencer, of Harmers Hay Road in Hailsham, was taken into the Hospice on January 10, 2015 but died a week later, on January 17.

At his inquest, held at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, February 12, the court heard how Mr Spencer was a specialist joiner by trade. In an in-life statement written by Mr Spencer’s solicitors, he told how he worked as a carpenter and shop fitter for W.K Nelson King, where he was exposed to asbestos on a number of occasions. Much of his work was done in basements, where pipes would be covered with asbestos lagging.

Later, he worked for Turner and Dean, where he was let out as a sub-contractor for Bell and Pearson. The work, which was overseen by East Sussex County Council, involved cutting soffits and boards that were made of asbestos sheets.

He said he was never given any information about asbestos, nor any protective mask. He used to sweep up the dust with a dustpan and brush at the end of each day.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a conclusion of death by industrial disease.

Mr Craze felt assured that Mr Spencer suffered from asbestos poisoning, which is on the list of industrial diseases, and that he died as a cause of the infection and did not simply have it as a secondary illness. He was also convinced Mr Spencer contracted the disease during many years of exposure at work.

While a post mortem was not carried out, a junior nurse at St Wilfrid’s Hospice agreed with the cause of death as asbestos poisoning.

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Man suffering from asbestos poisoning died at St Wilfrid’s

Asbestos found in NSW home as free testing widens in Mr Fluffy saga

The first property to test positive for loose-fill asbestos as part of the NSW government’s free testing program has been identified.

The property is located within the Berrigan Shire Council area, an agricultural area in the southern Riverina – halfway between Albury and Echuca.

It is the first home to provide a positive result since the NSW government began offering free voluntary roof insulation testing in August last year. So far, 630 tests across the state have been completed. The Berrigan property brings to 58 the number of NSW homes found to contain loose-fill asbestos. These include 14 houses and one block of 38 units in Queanbeyan, a home in the Yass Valley, one in Bungendore, one in Lithgow, one in Parramatta and one in Manly.

Three other affected homes have been demolished. All those properties were identified via historical records, prior to the positive Berrigan test.

Last August the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent investigation into the number of NSW properties affected by loose-fill asbestos supplied by two known companies, the ACT’s Mr Fluffy and a second contractor Bowsers Asphalt, which was targeting large non-residential buildings in NSW.

A spokesman for the NSW government said a technical assessment would now be conducted on the positive asbestos sample to try and determine its origin.

A total of 1752 properties across 26 NSW Local Government Areas have registered for the free testing program which will run until August.

The newly discovered home will also be subject to an asbestos assessment to advise owners whether the living spaces are adequately sealed and whether “asbestos pathways (are) appropriately controlled”.

The Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities said “testing of homes with loose-fill asbestos insulation has shown that exposure is likely to be very low if the asbestos is undisturbed and remains sealed off at all points where entry of asbestos into living areas can occur, including cornices, architraves, around vents, light fittings, manholes and the tops of cupboards.”

NSW residents who are living in homes built before 1980 can register online or call Service NSW to see if they are eligible to have their property tested.

In December, the NSW government announced an inquiry into the potential demolition of loose asbestos-affected homes, in line with action taken by the ACT government.

NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet also announced a financial assistance package for NSW residents who were confirmed to have Mr Fluffy in their homes, providing the same levels of assistance as in the ACT.

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Asbestos found in NSW home as free testing widens in Mr Fluffy saga

Fine for failing to test for asbestos

Fine for failing to test for asbestos

12 December 2014

Fine for failing to test for

Peter Page, the manager of Apartment
Renovation Company, has been fined $40,000 after he failed
to test a substance for asbestos. Mr Page was obliged to
have the textured ceilings tested for asbestos prior to
commencing the work.

Mr Page was sentenced today in the
Auckland District Court under Health and Safety in
Employment (Asbestos) Regulations and the Health and Safety
in Employment Act. Mr Page should have taken all practicable
steps to ensure that, when it was necessary to know whether
a substance was asbestos or not, the substance was
appropriately tested.

Shane Harris was employed as a
handyman by Peter Page to work on 10 units being renovated
and painted at a Kingsway Avenue site. Eight of the units
had textured ceilings.

Mr Harris started work on the site
on 29 July 2013 and about two weeks later he first expressed
his concerns about the ceilings to Mr Page. Because he did
not test for asbestos before work started, Mr Page was then
obliged to have the ceilings tested but did not. He told Mr
Harris that the ceilings had been tested and they were not
asbestos. This was not true. As a result up to 15
contractors were potentially exposed to the risk of asbestos
for approximately 3 months. When Mr Harris became concerned
that the advice he had received from the Mr Page was not
correct, he took his own sample which tested positive for
the presence of asbestos.

“It is recommended practice to
treat any suspect material, like textured ceilings, as
containing asbestos until test results prove otherwise,”
says Brett Murray, General Manager High Hazards and
Specialist Services. “Asbestos poses a risk if it is not
properly contained, especially during building work where
materials are cut or drilled.”

Peter Page had identified
the textured ceilings before work started but he thought the
ceilings were asbestos-free as they didn’t have sparkling
material visible to the eye. “Asbestos is often mixed with
other materials so it is virtually impossible to identify by
eye,” says Brett Murray. “The only way to be certain
that materials contain asbestos is to have them

“While Mr Page now routinely tests for asbestos
when working with textured ceilings, the regulations are
clear. If you are alerted to the possibility of asbestos in
any material, then you have to have that material

• Asbestos has been a major focus for
WorkSafe NZ over the past 12 months.
• In December
2013, WorkSafe New Zealand organised a trans-Tasman forum on asbestos in
Canterbury and in May 2014 we released an Asbestos Toolkit, a series of eight
factsheets on asbestos.
• We have also launched a new
website on asbestos aimed at helping homeowners and DIYers
understand the risks involved with asbestos and how to
manage them.
www.asbestosaware.co.nz was launched in
Christchurch by the Combined Health and Environment Risks
Programme Control Group made up of WorkSafe NZ, Environment
Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, CERA, Canterbury DHB
and Waimakariri District


© Scoop Media


Fine for failing to test for asbestos

Asbestos safety advice on offer

Asbestos safety advice on offer

Asbestos waste experts wearing protective clothing start work after receiving material from a school

Asbestos waste experts wearing protective clothing start work after receiving material from a school

First published

Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author

by , Crime reporter

TEACHERS are to be given advice on how they can keep themselves and their pupils safe from asbestos in schools.

Safety-related subjects in and out of the classroom are to be discussed at a conference held by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health in Burnley tomorrow (Nov 19).

The event, called Embracing Risk in Education – a Fresh Approach, has been organised jointly by IOSH’s education and fire risk management groups to inform those who work in schools about how they can keep safe.

They will hear about the best measures of managing asbestos in schools. These measures include having regular surveys and encapsulating or sealing the asbestos.

The latest figures, revealed in 2009, showed that 55 out of 73 schools in Blackburn and Darwen contained asbestos.

In Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, 213 schools had the potentially deadly material.

About 13,000 of the country’s 25,000 schools were built between 1945 and 1974 when asbestos use was at a peak.

Fiona Riley, vice-chair of the IOSH education group, said: “So many school buildings have asbestos within them and whilst the school may be aware of the requirement to undertake an asbestos survey, they may not have ongoing arrangements in place to manage the presence of asbestos.

“Children should be able to experience a wide range of activities during their time at school and proportionate health and safety measures should help, rather than hinder.”

Dave Harling, executive member for schools and education at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “There is always a concern about asbestos because of the dangers.

“However, a lot of asbestos in schools is not a danger and it is not likely there is a pile of asbestos sitting in a classroom.

“We have health and safety measures in place to deal with it.”

Also on the agenda at the meeting will be a talk from CLEAPPS, which supports the teaching of science and technology safely in schools.

Representatives will be delivering a training session at the event at the football ground to show how to effectively manage the risks associated with teaching the subjects.

Delegates will also hear about dangers posed to people in the leisure industry.

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Asbestos safety advice on offer

‘Betty’ opens eyes to asbestos prevalence

Karen Wicks and Cr Henk Van de Ven stand with the asbestos awareness trailer at Bunnings Albury yesterday afternoon. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Karen Wicks and Cr Henk Van de Ven stand with the asbestos awareness trailer at Bunnings Albury yesterday afternoon. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

A MOBILE home named Betty is making its way through the North East this week to help raise the awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

Betty was at Bunnings Albury yesterday targeting tradies and DIY renovators as part of national Asbestos Awareness Month this November.

Albury Council is supporting the campaign, which has run since 2011 to tackle the rise in asbestos-related diseases.

Betty’s curator and chauffeur Karen Wicks said the issue had been around for a long time.

“We are also promoting the ‘Mr Fluffy issue’, which is a type of loose fill insulation made entirely from asbestos that was pumped into the roof of houses in the 60s and 70s,” she said.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of it, it is a cotton wool looking substance.

“Workcover is offering free inspections for people who think they might have Mr Fluffy asbestos roof fill in their ceilings at the moment for 12 months.”

At least one in three homes contain asbestos, which can be found in any brick, weatherboard, cement board and clad home built or renovated before 1987.

It can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and under floor coverings, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, garages, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, fences, extensions to homes and backyard sheds.

Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause incurable cancer mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer, asbestosis and benign pleural disease.

Mrs Wicks said the best way to be safe was to use an accredited asbestos removalist.

“We’re not saying you can’t renovate with asbestos yourself, we prefer people not to, but if you do want to do it yourself there is a limit of 10 square metres and you need to kit yourself out in the correct way and take the appropriate safety measures,” she said.

Albury Council’s Henk van de Ven said Betty provided important information.

Betty will be at Wangaratta Bunnings from 10.30am-11.30am tomorrow. Visit asbestosawareness.com.au.

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‘Betty’ opens eyes to asbestos prevalence

Asbestos drama in the CBD

EXPERTS were called in this week to undertake “management work” after a form of friable asbestos was identified in the basement of Ray Walsh House.

SAFETY FIRST: Essential Energy contractors carry out work on Ray Walsh House in Tamworth after asbestos was discovered in a basement area. Photo: Gareth Gardner 061114GGA01

SAFETY FIRST: Essential Energy contractors carry out work on Ray Walsh House in Tamworth after asbestos was discovered in a basement area. Photo: Gareth Gardner 061114GGA01

An exclusion zone was set up in a car park beside the council chambers on Thursday morning as a company engaged by Essential Energy carried out the work.

The asbestos is contained in vermiculate covering steel beams in an electrical substation that Essential Energy leases from Tamworth Regional Council. The substation contains electrical transformers that allow power to be supplied to the council chambers and parts of the central business district.

Council’s general manager Paul Bennett said the section of the building housing the substation cannot be accessed by either staff or the public.

“Every precaution has been taken to minimise any risk to council staff at Ray Walsh House,” he said.

“At around noon (on Thursday), we were advised that air testing of two sections of the building adjoining the substation had been completed and revealed there was no health risk.

“My understanding is that testing and other work is still in progress in the substation itself.”

Essential Energy’s regional manager Ben Williams said the asbestos had been discovered during a major network upgrade for the CBD.

He said WorkCover had been notified and a wet decontamination unit and air-monitoring equipment had been used during the operation.

“Essential Energy has engaged a suitable qualified contractor to undertake the work to ensure the safety of the public and our employees,” he said.

“Essential Energy provides training and has strict safety practices in place, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment, to protect employees from the risk of asbestos-related health issues.”

According to the Bernie Banton Foundation, friable – or easily crumbled – asbestos is “more hazardous” to human health than non-friable asbestos.

Originally posted here: 

Asbestos drama in the CBD

Asbestos can no longer be dumped at Ipswich waste centres

ASBESTOS can no longer be dumped at any of Ipswich’s waste centres after the potentially dangerous waste was banned from Riverview.

Ipswich City Council City infrastructure boss Cr Cheryl Bromage said the change to the Riverview Recycling and Refuse Centre now applied to domestic sources.

Cr Bromage said the council decided to stop accepting asbestos from residents at Riverview because it was too dangerous to manage at the site.

“Council is also concerned about the dangers to local residents transporting asbestos themselves,” she said.

“We feel that only licensed professionals should be handling, transporting and disposing of asbestos materials given the extra care which needs to be taken with these items.”


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Cr Bromage said the move would bring the Riverview centre into line with the Rosewood Recycling and Refuse Centre as it was not approved to accept asbestos waste from any sources.

“Alternative disposal options have been listed on council’s website to assist residents with the future disposal of asbestos,” she said.

City Management and Finance Committee chairman Victor Attwood said council also believed the State Government needed to mandate the disposal of all asbestos by a registered provider.

“We have contacted the State Government to let them know our thoughts on this matter and have asked them to take action to protect all Queenslanders,” Cr Attwood said.

“Asbestos is a material which needs to be handled with extreme care and we feel that residents should not be handling it.

“We would like to see a compulsory change made to the way asbestos is allowed to be handled in Queensland.”


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Asbestos can no longer be dumped at Ipswich waste centres

Northey Street soil testing finds arsenic, asbestos and lead

Northey Street soil testing finds arsenic, asbestos and lead



Brisbane City Council contaminant testing found arsenic, lead and asbestos in the soil at Northey Street Community Organic Farm.

Brisbane City Council contaminant testing found arsenic, lead and asbestos in the soil at Northey Street Community Organic Farm. Photo: Supplied

Lead, asbestos and arsenic has been detected during Brisbane City Council soil testing at Northey Street City Farm.

The popular inner-north organic farm was given the go ahead to reopen on Friday afternoon, six weeks after it was closed, but only after it implements a number of measures to minimise health risks.

But farming team manager Dick Copeman said it remained unclear whether the findings would enable the two hectare city farm to retain its organic certification.

“We notified the organic certifier when the original issue arose, if we want to maintain that status we will have to come up with a management plan,” he said.


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Northey Street soil testing finds arsenic, asbestos and lead