26 September 2023

Emotional campaign to push asbestos safety

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WorkSafe Victoria is reminding employers to play it safe when dealing with material that contains asbestos.

In a new campaign for Asbestos Awareness Week this week (21 – 27 November), the Executive Director, Health and Safety at WorkSafe, Narelle Beer said the importance of ensuring asbestos in a workplace was identified and underscored by the tragic death of 64-year-old plumber, Neil Woolard to mesothelioma last year.

Dr Beer said WorkSafe’s new campaign video featured Mr Woolard’s partner, Monica Ghirxi imploring anyone who, like her husband, may have been exposed to asbestos-containing material to go and get checked by a medical professional.

“Ms Ghirxi’s plea coincides with Asbestos Awareness Week, which this year carries the theme Think Twice About Asbestos and asks businesses to ‘do it the right way’ by ensuring the proper and lawful disposal of asbestos-containing material,” Dr Beer said.

“Despite the dangers, WorkSafe continues to catch employers flouting the rules,” she said.

“Asbestos-containing material remained a significant safety risk.”

Dr Beer said Asbestos Awareness Week was a time for employers to take stock of their obligations regarding asbestos and ensure they were not putting any workers or members of the public at risk.

“The ramifications for not following the rules can include serious disease or even death, which is why WorkSafe regularly conducts proactive asbestos inspections,” she said.

The three-minute WorkSafe campaign video can be accessed at this PS News link.

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