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January 19, 2018

Fined for failing to conduct asbestos check

Fined for failing to conduct asbestos check

ELESHA EDMONDS

Last updated 13:26, December 12 2014

An Auckland renovation company manager has been fined $40,000 after he failed to test ceilings at a worksite for asbestos. 

Peter Page, the manager of Apartment Renovation Company, was sentenced today at Auckland District Court on charges laid by WorkSafe of not taking all practical steps to test a substance for asbestos. 

Shane Harris, a handyman employed by the company, raised concern after noticing Page did not test for asbestos before they began work on 10 units at a site in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham. 

Page told Harris he had tested the ceiling and had found there was no asbestos, but when Harris took his own sample it tested positive for the presence of asbestos. 

As a result of Page’s actions, up to 15 contractors were potentially exposed to asbestos over three months. 

Asbestos dust can cause breathing difficulties or even lung cancer if it is inhaled.

Page claimed he thought the textured ceilings were asbestos-free, as they did not have sparkling material visible to the eye.

However Brett Murray, general manager of High Hazards and Specialist Services, said it was a recommended practice to test for asbestos.

“Asbestos is often mixed with other material 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.” 


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Page was fined $40,000 under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and Health and Safety in Employment Regulations. 


– Stuff

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Fined for failing to conduct asbestos check