February 23, 2019

Not testing for asbestos got boss $40k fine

The manager of a renovation company has been fined $40,000 for failing to test for asbestos and putting his staff in danger while renovating units in Auckland.

Peter Page from Apartment Renovation Company was ordered to pay the fine at Auckland District Court today for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that a substance was tested for asbestos.

As a result, up to 15 contractors were potentially exposed to asbestos for three months while working on units in Sandringham.

In July last year Shane Harris, a handyman employed by Page, expressed concern about whether some of the units’ textured ceiling contained asbestos.

Given he had not tested them before work began, Page should have tested them in response to the handyman’s query.

He did not and instead told Mr Harris that the ceilings had been tested and there was no asbestos.

When the handyman became concerned that his boss was giving him incorrect information, he took his own sample which tested positive for the presence of asbestos.

Page said he thought the ceilings were asbestos-free as they didn’t have sparkling material visible to the eye.

WorkSafe NZ manager of high hazards Brett Murray said only tests can show if materials contain asbestos.

“Asbestos is often mixed with other materials so it is virtually impossible to identify by eye,” he said.

“The only way to be certain that materials contain asbestos is to have them tested.”

Asbestos poses a risk if it is not properly contained, especially during building work where materials are cut or drilled.”

He reminded builders in charge that if they are alerted to the possibility of asbestos in any material, then they must have that material tested.


Excerpt from:  

Not testing for asbestos got boss $40k fine

Melling Station building closed as safety precaution

The building at Melling Station has been closed temporarily as a safety precaution after testing found evidence of asbestos.

Wayne Hastie, the Regional Council’s General Manager of Public Transport, says the results showed positive for asbestos dust, not airborne asbestos. “So there’s no risk of people inhaling asbestos but we need to close the building until the building is cleaned thoroughly to remove the dust.”

The building would be cleaned as soon as possible then tested again.

Dr Hastie said the Melling Station building has a tenant who runs a kiosk and a ticket agency. Both have closed until further notice.

Melling commuters can buy tickets for single trips on board. Ten-trip tickets and monthly passes will need to be bought at Wellington Station. “As soon as we got the test results we had to take the necessary safety precautions and close the building. We apologise for the inconvenience to commuters. “

Dr Hastie says the Council is currently testing all stations where asbestos might be present. In the 1950s and 60s when many stations were built, asbestos material was used in construction.

“This testing was scheduled as part of our comprehensive asset management programme but we’ve expedited it since finding asbestos in an old part of the Thorndon electric multiple unit depot after the roof was damaged in a storm. We decided it was best to test all of our buildings that are of a similar era sooner rather than later.”

Four other buildings at Upper Hutt, Trentham, Woburn and Taita stations showed evidence of asbestos dust. The areas in which the dust was found at Upper Hutt, Trentham and Woburn stations are all non-public access areas have been sealed and will be cleaned. The roof at Trentham Station has been replaced.

At Taita Station, asbestos dust was found to be present in the signal box which KiwiRail staff use at some times of the day. Staff are not working out of this signal box until the area has been cleaned thoroughly and retested. This will have implications for some services, including possible delays to some peak hour afternoon services between Taita and Upper Hutt.

“Passengers should allow for extra travel time and we are exploring the possibility of making temporary changes to bus services that connect with trains at Upper Hutt Station. Passengers should check Metlink or call 0800 801 700 for details over the next few days or call

Original link – 

Melling Station building closed as safety precaution

Asbestos removal underway at some Guilford County Schools

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C.– A handful of Guilford County schools are part of an extensive asbestos removal project this summer.

“We have approximately 91 schools that contain asbestos in some form or another,” explained GCS Project Manager Ernest King.

King says they are working to remove asbestos from 30 schools this summer. He hopes the rest of schools can be complete on weekends during the school year or next summer when kids are out for break.

“All the kids, teachers, whoever is there we want to make sure that they’re safe,” he said.

King explained unexposed asbestos is not hazardous for people in the schools day-to day. However, when tiles or carpets are disturbed during demolition or renovations, asbestos fibers can be released into the air.

“During the process and after it’s over, we have air monitoring where a third-party company comes in to check the air,” King added.

Principal Mark Harris works at Peeler Open Elementary School and is excited to have new carpeting in the office, media center and computer lab.

“Peeler’s an open school so here, kids lay on the carpet and read, they move around, it’s not like a traditional school where folks just sit in rows,” Harris said.

GCS says there are 91 schools and 11 administrative buildings containing asbestos, mostly in floor tiles and carpeting.

“If you’re gonna have asbestos in a building, floor tile is where you prefer to have because it’s a low content of asbestos. Normally ranges from 1-2%,” explained King.

“We are thankful to have this done,” added Harris.

Schools involved in the asbestos removal project this summer:

  • Academy at Central
  • Alderman Elementary
  • Allen Jay Elementary
  • Allen Middle
  • Bluford Elementary
  • Brooks Global Studies
  • Colfax Elementary
  • Cone Elementary
  • Frazier Elementary
  • Guilford Middle
  • High Point Central High
  • Hunter Elementary
  • Kiser Middle
  • Jamestown Elementary
  • Johnson Street Global Studies K-8 Magnet
  • Joyner Elementary
  • Madison Elementary
  • Millis Road Elementary
  • Murphey Traditional Academy
  • Nathanael Greene
  • Northeast Middle
  • Peeler Elementary
  • Pleasant Garden Elementary
  • Sedgefield Elementary
  • Shadybrook Elementary
  • Southwest Middle
  • Sternberger Elementary
  • Sumner Elementary
  • Twilight Academy
  • Welborn Middle

Source article:  

Asbestos removal underway at some Guilford County Schools