Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibres that can be separated into thin, durable threads. These fibres are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been used widely in many industries.
Friable Asbestos: means material that is in a powder form or that can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure when dry, and contains asbestos.
Non-Friable Asbestos: means material containing asbestos that is not friable asbestos including material containing asbestos fibres reinforced with a bonding compound.
What factors affect the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease?
Several factors can help to determine how asbestos exposure affects an individual, including:
- Dose (how much asbestos an individual was exposed to).
- Duration (how long an individual was exposed).
- Size, shape, and chemical makeup of the asbestos fibres.
- Source of the exposure.
- Individual risk factors, such as smoking and pre-existing lung disease.
Where is asbestos found?
What are the obligations?
A person with management or control of a workplace must ensure the presence and location of asbestos at the workplace is clearly indicated. If reasonably practicable, the asbestos must be indicated by a label.
What are your obligations?
- If you suspect asbestos in the environment cease work and report it immediately.
- Do not touch the material.
- Contact a licenced asbestos removal company.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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