Asbestos removal a job for the professionals at Hazworx

Environmental air quality is of vital importance to human health and the professional friable asbestos removalists at Hazworx are doing their bit to help Australians breathe easy.

As a company affiliated with Mycologia, Hazworx fills a much-needed role in improving air quality in both commercial and residential buildings and sites when it comes to addressing the health hazards of asbestos.

Hazworx Managing Director, Neil Thexton, says with Australia having one of the highest incident rates of malignant mesothelioma in the  world, it pays to make smart decisions about removing or maintaining materials containing the asbestos fibres that cause the disease by commissioning only professionals with the right credentials and specific asbestos public liability insurance.

Malignant mesothelioma is a fatal cancer caused by inhaling asbestos fibres and while it has historically been considered a work-related disease predominantly affecting people in the mining and construction industries, Australia has seen an increase in the numbers of people exposed to the deadly fibres during the course of building renovation or home maintenance projects.

"Australia began to regulate the use of asbestos products in the late 1970s. The use of crocidolite (blue) asbestos was banned in 1967, while the use of amosite (brown) asbestos continued until the mid-1980s. The use of chrysotile (white) asbestos was finally banned in Australia at the end of 2003," Mr. Thexton said.

"However, despite these various use prohibitions, wherever asbestos was already fixed or installed to a product (in-situ) on or before 31 December 2003, it could still be used.

"The consequence of this exemption is that in 2012, there still remains in Australian homes and workplaces the potential risk that future asbestos exposures will occur from the inadvertent disturbances of such materials by people unaware of the asbestos content.

"Asbestos containing materials are present in various building materials used in the construction of houses, factories, schools, hospitals and other public buildings.

"I've removed both friable and bonded asbestos products from all such buildings and have observed asbestos installed to household appliances such as slow burning stoves, toasters, hairdryers and even applied as noise dampening material to the underside of the kitchen sink-drainer."

While there are many people licensed to remove bonded asbestos, typically found in products such as sheet vinyl, vinyl tiles, electrical boards, and cement sheeting there are very limited numbers of people issued a license by WorkSafe to remove friable asbestos products.

This is because friable asbestos products when disturbed are the most likely to emit asbestos particles into the air and thus requires a greater level of removal operative training and application of more complex and precise removal and disposal techniques to maintain the health and safety of building occupants and prevent the escape of asbestos fibres to other areas outside of the asbestos work area.

Unlike fencing or roofing contractors and most demolition contractors who are certified to remove bonded asbestos, Hazworx holds an unrestricted asbestos removal license, so they are qualified to remove bonded and friable asbestos, a procedure bound by stringent government regulations.

Mr Thexton has more than 20 years' experience in the Asbestos Industry having worked as both an asbestos consultant responsible for producing asbestos audits and registers, writing asbestos removal tender specifications and project managing asbestos removal projects and as an expert in the removal, remediation and disposal of asbestos containing materials.

"It's not unheard of for untrained contractors to take on the complicated challenge of asbestos abatement and/or remediation, often leading to much bigger problems such as asbestos in soil contamination and the cross-contamination of other areas of the workplace," Mr Thexton said.

Safe and efficient asbestos removal is the sole function of Hazworx, so clients are assured they are getting the job done by asbestos experts rather than a demolition, fencing or roofing contractor who might offer asbestos removal as an added service.

Hazworx provides a service that complies with all legal requirements relating to asbestos removal and all Hazworx employees undertake comprehensive training in the use of specialised equipment and safe asbestos removal procedures, ensuring their competency.