Safety alert warns of dangers of asbestos removal

WorkSafe has issued an Alert about the dangers of wearing unsuitable disposable coveralls for asbestos removal work.

WorkSafe has issued an Alert about the dangers of wearing unsuitable disposable coveralls for asbestos removal work.

The alert, called Coveralls used for asbestos removal, warns of the dangers of wearing unsuitable disposable coveralls for asbestos removal work in manufacturing facilities and other industrial locations.

“WorkSafe Victoria has found some licensed asbestos removalists wearing unsuitable disposable coveralls during asbestos removal,” said WorkSafe in the alert.

“The coveralls are usually made from single layer, lightweight polypropylene. They allow fine dust to penetrate the coveralls and tend to tear easily. If dust containing asbestos fibres has penetrated the coveralls and settled on clothing or skin underneath, there is an increased risk of inhalation of these fibres.

“Inhalation of asbestos fibres is a serious health risk and can lead to diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

“These disposable coveralls are usually supplied with little or no information to enable an employer to determine if they are suitable for asbestos removal. In some cases the coveralls have been advertised as suitable for asbestos use, however no test reports have been provided to confirm this.”

WorkSafe suggests a number of control measures such as using disposable coveralls that are of a suitable standard to prevent penetration of asbestos fibres.