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CFA’s Asbestos Registers
Recently we reissued relevant brigades with an Asbestos Register which identified the areas within stations containing asbestos.
We know asbestos is present at some CFA locations and I felt it was important to remind all members of our occupational health and safety requirements with respect to the management of asbestos on CFA sites. As with buildings built at that time, it is most commonly found in cement sheeting installed in eaves or on walls and vinyl floor tiles. However, it may be found elsewhere so it’s important our members are using the registers.
Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. It’s important we all are aware of the requirements when it comes to dealing with asbestos and we must take appropriate precautions. Part of this responsibility includes knowing if, or where, asbestos is located at your station.
In March this year, operations managers wrote to brigade secretaries to remind them of our OH&S requirements regarding asbestos. This advice included a copy of the current Asbestos Register (for relevant locations) and a requirement to:
• locate and destroy any previous register
• place the register where it is accessible to both members and contractors
• check labelling is in place where the register identified asbestos
• communicate contents of the register at the next brigade meeting and discuss with members the types of activities that could provide a potential risk exposure and ways to mitigate this risk.
There are some activities around the station that may put you at a risk of exposure. Asbestos should always be clearly identified with a sticker or permanent sign. If your register identifies asbestos and there is no identification marked on it, or you are uncertain of the presence of asbestos at your location, please contact your district office.
It’s also essential that brigades get the necessary approvals from their local asset project officer (APO) before undertaking any improvement or refurbishment works. This might include installing hooks or nails to hang boards and pictures, sanding or carrying out minor renovation works.
If you accidentally break an asbestos-containing material, please contact your district office as soon as possible to organise proper disposal. It can only be removed and disposed of by a person or company approved by CFA and who has the necessary licences, and in accordance with specific requirements to a waste facility licensed by the Environment Protection Authority.
If you would like more information about the management of asbestos on CFA sites please contact your local asset project officer at your district office.