Although the Queensland Government has introduced more regulation around the asbestos removal and roofing sector over the past 10 years, holes in the training programs and auditing still put QLD roofers at risk. This being said, professionals can easily remove asbestos safely when following the procedures and under the correct supervision. So why is a Brisbane roofing company being fined $100,000 with court proceedings underway?
Roofmasters PTY Ltd paid to remove a storm-damaged roof at a building leased by trade tools when a whole lot of people were exposed to asbestos. The removal of asbestos by Roofmasters was not a safe act of workplace health and safety. Roofmasters employees are legally obliged to eliminate or reduce as much risk as is reasonably practicable to anyone in their workplace of exposure to airborne asbestos fibers. Also, they are required before a removal of asbestos to follow up on workplace policies and procedures, using equipment correctly, attending health and safety training, helping to identify hazards and implementing risk control measures.
Due to the lack of professionalism performed by Roofmasters in the removal the asbestos has spread all through the main hall. Trade Tools had to close their doors to the public for 2 months. They also had to spend a fair bit of money to fix the problem that a professional asbestos removal company couldn’t do due to the lack of training and safe work procedures displayed.
Roofmasters unsafe and unprofessional removal of asbestos has had effects on the people exposed and the environment.The major health problem caused by asbestos exposure, aside from cancer, is a lung disease called asbestosis. When a person breathes high levels of asbestos over time, some of the fibers lodge deep in the lungs, irritation caused by the fibers can eventually lead to scarring in the lungs. Community members should expect to be put at ease knowing that asbestos has been removed safely and under the supervision of a professional and well-trained company, however, that is not the case with this removal conducted by Roofmaster. Local community members and employees have instead been left fearing for their health. The exposure has put Roofmasters own employees, the public and Trade Tools workers at risk of potentially serious illness.
After the lack of proper management, and breach of workplace health and safety procedures. The Brisbane-based roofing company has been fined $100,000 and convicted in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 26 July 2017, for failing to handle and safely dispose of asbestos.