Raising awareness to the risks of highly toxic asbestos

23 Nov 2022

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The dangers of asbestos exposure have been widely known in New Zealand for many years, but it is still thought to be one of the country’s deadliest health-related workplace killers. 

The naturally occurring mineral made up of many small fibres was used in a wide range of building materials between the 1940s and 1980s, making it hard to identify.   

Additionally, the highly toxic asbestos fibres are so small when they’re airborne that they are invisible to the naked eye and once breathed in can become embedded in your lungs. This can cause diseases including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma (a form of cancer that is always fatal). 

About 220 people die each year from an asbestos-related disease, making it New Zealand’s number one workplace killer, WorkSafe says.  

That’s why they’re rallying the sector for Asbestos Awareness Week and reminding businesses and tradies that there are no more excuses for not protecting workers from the risk of asbestos exposure.  

They’ve got many asbestos-related content and resources to help organisations become better informed of the risks involved and the rules when it comes to working with asbestos. You can find this at: www.worksafe.govt.nz/asbestos 

As the construction and wider industry’s leader in workplace health and safety, Site Safe is also committed to raising awareness of the risks of working with asbestos and other hazardous materials.  

Check out the Guides and Resources tab on our website to find many helpful tips when it comes to managing asbestos and a myriad of other building materials and hazardous substances.  

Our members can also find more than 40 exclusive toolbox talks, including a detailed talk on safely removing asbestos.  

These member benefits and much more can be found at:  https://www.sitesafe.org.nz/member/member-features/toolbox-talks/  

For any further guidance, contact our expert Safety Advisory team. You can find more about the services they offer at: https://www.sitesafe.org.nz/products-and-services/consultancy-services/