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August 19, 2018

Asbestos all-clear for Naval Service ships as LÉ Orla readies for high seas

Work on removing potentially lethal asbestos on the Naval Service ship LÉ Orla has been completed, although it will be a few weeks before she becomes fully operational again.

When back on patrol, it will mean that the Naval Service is back to its full complement of eight ships as the LÉ Ciara was also dry-docked for several months while asbestos was removed from it.

A specialist contractor was employed to remove the substance and send it for disposal to Germany.

While the cost of the operation hasn’t been disclosed by the Department of Defence, industry experts say it is likely to top €1m.

Both ships were put out of commission on May 28 last year when significant amounts of asbestos was found onboard. The clean-up operation was overseen by the Health and Safety Authority.

The Naval Service said it has completed a fleet-wide asbestos review and can now confirm a clean bill of health for all vessels.

In 2000, the Department of Defence commissioned consultants to examine all the fleet and reported there was no asbestos onboard any vessels.

The company which carried out that examination has since ceased to exist, meaning that the taxpayer will have to foot the bill for the clean-ups.

In the 1980s, asbestos was widely used in the ship-building industry, especially in engine rooms to insulate pipes and boilers. At the time, it was considered the best and most cost-effective insulating material and was also fire-resistant.

A total of 116 Naval Service personnel and civilian workers are understood to have come in contact with asbestos onboard the ships or at the Naval Service’s headquarters on Haulbowline Island, Cobh.

They have been medically examined and have been promised regular screening in the years to come, as it can take up to 40 years for the symptoms to manifest.

In the meantime, Naval Service sources say they’re hopeful that the latest addition to the fleet, LÉ James Joyce, will arrive at their Haulbowline headquarters in Cork harbour around St Patrick’s Day.

However, this will depend on there being no hiccups during her sea trials.

The €50m vessel is being built at a shipyard in Appledore, Devon, by the same company which supplied the LÉ Samuel Beckett, which became operational last year.

The LÉ James Joyce will replace the LÉ Aoife, which is in the process of being decommissioned and is set to be sold off through auction.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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Asbestos all-clear for Naval Service ships as LÉ Orla readies for high seas

OC School Closed For Asbestos Removal Reopens

Huntington Beach, CA –

(FOX 11) After months of asbestos cleanup hundreds of students are returning to a Huntington Beach School Tuesday. Oak View Elementary, which closed in the fall, is welcoming back its second through fifth graders.

RELATED: Students From 2 OC Elementaries Return To Class On Other Campuses, Asbestos Cleanup Continues

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RELATED:Displaced Asbestos Students

Kindergarteners will continue to study at Pleasant View Preschool and first graders will stay at Sun View Elementary for the rest of the school year.

The returning students will study in portable classrooms on the campus until the asbestos cleanup has been finished in the main building.

Asbestos concerns prompted the closure of this school, plus two others in the district, after traces of asbestos were found in classrooms and abated asbestos was found in ceiling tiles.

In a recent meeting, parents shared their concerns about the portable classrooms; asking if they were at risk of containing asbestos. The also wondered where their kids food would be prepared, but for the most part many are happy to have their kids coming back.

The cleanup process is ongoing and Ocean View School District is still coming up with a plan for abatement which will be voted on by the school board.

Hope View And Lake View elementary schools are still closed.

This process is expected to cost the district between $7 to 11 Million dollars.

Kindergarteners will continue to study at Pleasant View Preschool and first graders will stay at Sun View Elementary for the rest of the school year.

The returning students will study in portable classrooms on the campus until the asbestos cleanup has been finished in the main building.

Asbestos concerns prompted the closure of this school, plus two others in the district, after traces of asbestos were found in classrooms and abated asbestos was found in ceiling tiles.

In a recent meeting, parents shared their concerns about the portable classrooms; asking if they were at risk of containing asbestos. The also wondered where their kids food would be prepared, but for the most part many are happy to have their kids coming back.

The cleanup process is ongoing and Ocean View School District is still coming up with a plan for abatement which will be voted on by the school board.

Hope View And Lake View elementary schools are still closed.

This process is expected to cost the district between $7 to 11 Million dollars.

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OC School Closed For Asbestos Removal Reopens

Major Asbestos Violations Result in $370,000+ in Fines for Two Companies

An investigation by Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) into a demolition project at a Seattle apartment building found a total of 19 willful and serious safety and health violations. As a result, the two businesses involved in the project have been fined a total of $379,100.

Partners Construction Inc., of Federal Way, Wash., was cited for a total of 14 willful and serious violations and fined $291,950. Asbestos Construction Management Inc., of Bonney Lake, Wash., was fined $87,150 for five willful and serious violations.

The violations were for asbestos exposure to workers, asbestos debris left on site and other violations that occurred during demolition of an apartment building in the Fremont neighborhood. The three-story, five-unit apartment building was originally constructed with “popcorn” ceilings, a white substance containing asbestos fibers, as well as asbestos sheet vinyl flooring.

Asbestos is an extremely hazardous material that can lead to asbestosis, a potentially fatal disease, as well as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Removal of asbestos-containing building materials must be done by a certified abatement contractor who follows safety and health rules to protect workers and the public from exposure to asbestos. The contractor also must ensure proper removal and disposal of the asbestos materials.

Partners Construction Inc., a certified asbestos abatement contractor at the time, was hired by the building owner to remove the asbestos before the apartment building was demolished.

After several weeks, Partners provided the building owner with a letter of completion indicating that all asbestos had been removed. When L&I inspectors responded to a worker complaint, the inspectors found that the removal work had not been done and approximately 5,400 square feet of popcorn ceiling remained throughout, as well as asbestos sheet vinyl flooring.

Partners came back to finish the abatement work; however, due to a prior history of willful violations, L&I was in the process of revoking Partners’ certification to do asbestos abatement work. In May, Partners was decertified and went out of business.

A new company, Asbestos Construction Management Inc. (ACM), owned by a family member of the Partners owner, took over the job using essentially the same workers and certified asbestos supervisor as Partners, and sharing the same equipment.

A subsequent L&I inspection of ACM found many of the same violations as in the Partners’ inspection. L&I has initiated decertification action against ACM.

The employers have 15 business days to appeal the citation.

Penalty money paid as a result of a citation is placed in the workers’ compensation supplemental pension fund, helping injured workers and families of those who have died on the job.

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Major Asbestos Violations Result in $370,000+ in Fines for Two Companies

Canterbury asbestos investigation: No charges to be laid

WorkSafe New Zealand has concluded its investigation into the management of asbestos in the Canterbury Home Repair Programme and has decided not to lay any charges.

WorkSafe launched an investigation earlier this year in response to allegations about the adequacy of the Earthquake Commission and Fletcher EQR’s systems for identifying and managing the hazard of asbestos during the initial stages of the Canterbury rebuild.

WorkSafe’s chief executive, Gordon MacDonald, says that the investigation found that there were some deficiencies in the management of asbestos during the early phases of the Home Repair Programme. However, given what we know about the type of work carried in the Home Repair Programme the risk of harm to workers and residents was very low and prosecution was not justified.

“Exposure to asbestos is a very real occupational health hazard, and one that WorkSafe takes very seriously. That’s why we undertook a thorough investigation of the circumstances.”

That investigation included:

– extensive reviews of EQC and Fletcher EQR documentation, their systems and processes

– interviews with management, contractors and residents

– property inspections and asbestos testing in a limited number of houses – including surface and air testing WorkSafe also contracted independent experts to review research conducted on behalf of Fletcher EQR into breathable fibre release during certain types of repair work

The investigation found there were some deficiencies in the management of asbestos and the process of testing for its presence prior to work beginning during the early phases of the Home Repair Programme. However, the level of asbestos likely to have been released was very low, as was the risk to workers. The risk to residents is likely to have been even lower.

“Given the scale of work in Canterbury it’s inevitable there were instances where work was not up to best practice and our investigation did identify shortcomings with the management of asbestos. But based on our investigation and expert advice WorkSafe is satisfied the over-all risks from asbestos in the Home Repair Programme have been very low.

“It has to be remembered that in the weeks and months after the Canterbury earthquakes there was an incredible amount of work done – both demolitions and emergency repairs. People and organisations were stretched and conditions were far from ideal.

“Over the course of the Home Repair Programme considerable improvements have been made in the way asbestos has been managed by contractors, and WorkSafe and its Canterbury Rebuild Safety Charter partners have worked hard to educate tradespeople and contractors about the occupational health risks asbestos pose.

“Let me be absolutely clear about this; asbestos is not something to be taken lightly and the risks of exposure need to be very carefully managed. WorkSafe will continue to work with all companies involved in the rebuild to ensure that asbestos is managed appropriately – and to ensure the lessons learned in Canterbury are heeded nationwide,” says Gordon MacDonald.

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Canterbury asbestos investigation: No charges to be laid

Asbestos risk closes school for another week

Bayfield School, Herne Bay. Photo / Jason Dorday.
Bayfield School, Herne Bay. Photo / Jason Dorday.

The potential for asbestos contamination at a primary school will keep students away until at least Thursday next week.

Bayfield School in Auckland’s Herne Bay closed on Thursday last week after tests showed the possibility that asbestos dust had drifted outside a contained worksite on the school grounds.

Students were kept home from school on Friday and this week they had been attending nearby Ponsonby Primary School, where they were being taught in the school hall and additional classrooms.

Bayfield Board of Trustees’ chairman David McPherson said in a statement today that the school would be closed until all demolition work was completed.

The school was demolishing classrooms on site due to leaky building problems, and the school swimming pool was also being removed.

“The safety of our students and teaching staff is paramount, so we won’t re-open the school until we are assured, through the Board’s independent review process, that the site is safe,” Mr McPherson said.

Once the school is re-opened, building would not go ahead until the board could verify the work would be undertaken safely, he said.

Two investigations were underway into the process of the asbestos removal.

“We will await the results of these investigations, which will also be shared with the community,” Mr McPherson said.

“In fairness to the various parties involved in those investigations it is important that we don’t jump to conclusions about the process that was undertaken.”

An asbestos-contaminated building was demolished during the school holidays, however the demolished material was not removed from the school site until Friday last week.

There was concern that during that time asbestos dust had travelled from the work site to the rest of the school grounds.

APNZ

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Asbestos risk closes school for another week

Locomotives return after asbestos scare

Locomotives return after asbestos scare

Published: 8:24PM Monday March 17, 2014 Source: ONE News

  • KiwiRail locomotives. (Source: ONE News)

    KiwiRail locomotives. – Source: ONE News

KiwiRail is reassuring staff that the level of asbestos in its Chinese-built freight trains is minimal.

Forty new DL locomotives have been tested for asbestos after toxic fibres were found inside one last month.

The tests have found the potentially deadly material is only present in five trains in its fleet.

KiwiRail maintains the risk of exposure to any airborne fibres is low so it will bring the trains back into service soon.

It says it is in the process of removing the packing material where the asbestos was found in all of the locomotives before they are returned to service.

The scare saw freight movement around the country limited as the locomotives underwent testing.

Chief executive Peter Reidy says the lack of capacity is still causing supply chain issues for many industries and businesses.

“The DL locomotives are the workhorse of our fleet and without their pulling power all customers are feeling the lack of capacity,” he said.

    Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

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    Locomotives return after asbestos scare

    Asbestos cleanup set to begin at former Citadel Plaza development site

    The long-awaited cleanup of the failed Citadel Plaza development site near 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue is finally set to begin, at least in a small way.

    Kansas City officials said test pit activity will begin Wednesday and continue for two to three weeks. It will take place on four to six lots out of the 68 vacant lots identified for possible buried asbestos. If contamination is found, it will be properly disposed of, they said.

    Results of those tests will set the stage for a full environmental cleanup on the site later this year, said Andrew Bracker, the city’s brownfields coordinator. A brownfield is an area contaminated by industrial or commercial use.

    “It is the start,” Bracker said of the process to address any buried asbestos at the former development site –– encompassing seven blocks –– so the city can try to market the location for another developer.

    Citadel Plaza was envisioned as an $80 million, 35-acre shopping center with a grocery store, restaurants, other retailers and housing. But the developer, CDC-KC, failed to properly monitor asbestos removal before some homes were torn down in 2006, and the project collapsed in a mess of environmental and financial conflicts.

    In November 2011, the Kansas City Council approved a $15 million settlement to resolve lawsuits involving the development’s creditors. That settlement, made final in January 2012, gave the city clear title to the land and freed the site for development.

    But first the city has to make sure there is no more asbestos contamination, and that process has taken much longer than expected.

    Consultants have taken samples from 154 properties and found only one parcel with detectible asbestos fibers in the soil surface. Subsoil contamination has been harder to determine.

    Bracker said considerable research on more than 200 lots ruled out contamination on all but 68 vacant lots. The city had hoped to issue a cleanup contract in 2013, but that level of continuing uncertainty about the 68 lots could lead to expensive bids, Bracker said. So the city decided to proceed more slowly and do the test pits. Even getting that contract in place took longer than expected.

    “We have not met our expectations with respect to the pace” of cleanup, Bracker acknowledged.

    The city has a $500,000 federal grant for cleanup and some bond funds available, but Bracker said the city wants to conserve as much money as possible for work needed before development begins.

    The test pits are in the 6100 blocks of Park Avenue and Olive Street. Bracker said the contractor will monitor air quality before and during the activity and will take necessary precautions to make sure no asbestos escapes into the air. Nearby residents will not be at risk and will have access to their homes.

    Bracker said it should take 45 days to get and interpret the test pit results, and that will pave the way for a more complete cleanup, which he hopes can occur by this summer.

    The city also commissioned a market study about potential development opportunities for the site, but the report released in May 2013 wasn’t overly encouraging. It saw no potential for a convenience/neighborhood-oriented shopping center, noting there are other struggling shopping complexes nearby.

    The consultant’s report recommended trying to attract four or five regional traffic generators such as a Menards, Ross Dress for Less, Target and Michaels. City officials have said they intend to market the site aggressively, but that won’t until the cleanup is complete.

    Original article:  

    Asbestos cleanup set to begin at former Citadel Plaza development site

    Asbestos delays Tyne tunnel revamp

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    Asbestos delays Tyne tunnel revamp

    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

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    Asbestos removal underway at some Guilford County Schools

    Renovation Solutions: The problem of asbestos in home remodels

    Asbestos abatement workers contain the area and must where respirators to protect themselves from the harmful effects of working around disturbed asbestos.

    DRL Enterprises, Inc., www.drlenterprisesinc.com

    We recently had a reader ask us to highlight the problem of asbestos in private residences, so this is our topic of the week.

    Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. It is an affordable material that has sound-absorptive properties and is resistant to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage.

    The problem with asbestos is its fibrous composition. Fibers form as these minerals cool and crystallize, forming molecules, which line up parallel with each other, creating crystal lattices. When sufficient force is applied, these crystals break along their weakest direction, resulting in a fibrous form. This process of fracturing can keep occurring such that one large asbestos fiber can become the source of hundreds of thinner and smaller fibers.

    Due to naturally occurring asbestos and general environmental exposure, we all actually have a large number of these fibers in our lungs, but at some level they become the cause of serious problems such as lung cancer, mesothelioma — cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity — and asbestosis where lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.

    Therefore, it behooves us to avoid excessive exposure to asbestos in any way we can.

    Historically, asbestos-containing building materials were not as widely used in residences as in larger commercial and institutional buildings. Since the 1970s, most manufactured products do not contain asbestos. However, in homes built before that time, asbestos can be found in several areas.

    For instance, some roofing and siding shingles on older homes are made of asbestos cement. Asbestos was used as insulation in many homes built between 1930 and 1950. It may be found in textured paint and patching compounds manufactured before 1977 (remember those ‘popcorn’ ceilings?), as well as in ceiling tiles. Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and in the backing of vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives. In older homes, hot water and steam pipes may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape. Similarly, metal ductwork may also be wrapped with an asbestos material.

    Asbestos has another characteristic, which is significant: It is categorized as either “friable” or “non-friable.” The friability of a product, which contains asbestos, is measured by how weak the structure of the product is — a friable product can be broken with simple finger-crushing pressure. Obviously, the ease with which these products can be damaged relates to their potential danger to the public as microscopic fibers are released into the air.

    So, now that we are all paranoid, let’s talk about what to do if you think you have asbestos in your home. Usually, the best approach is to leave any suspicious material that is in good condition alone. Check the material regularly for signs of wear or damage, and if it deteriorates — or if you are remodeling the area — it needs to be dealt with by a professional. If you are remodeling your home, any competent contractor will do a complete survey of the affected area and will advise you if asbestos abatement will be an issue.

    If you cannot just leave the asbestos alone, there are two types of corrective action that can be taken. One is repair, which generally means sealing or covering the asbestos so it no longer poses a danger. The other is removal of the product altogether. There are abatement firms that offer testing, assessment, and correction services, though it could conceivably be a conflict of interest to hire a firm for all three services. It may be better to use two different firms — one to assess the situation and another to remedy it.

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    Renovation Solutions: The problem of asbestos in home remodels