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Managing risks of naturally occurring asbestos safely in regional NSW

01 December, 2016

The NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) recently launched a new educational video for people living and working in regional areas about the risks of naturally occurring asbestos.

HACA Chair Peter Dunphy said the video informs people what to look for and how to manage naturally occurring asbestos safely.

"Asbestos is naturally occurring and can typically be found in rock, sediment, or soil throughout regional NSW," Dunphy said.

"It is generally discovered when building roads, working on construction sites and undertaking excavation activities.

"All workers must be trained in the hazards and risks associated with working with naturally occurring asbestos and this new video provides them with information and advice on what to look for and how to manage it safely."

The video was filmed in Gundagai with the assistance of Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council and features Asbestos Awareness Ambassador John Jarratt. It was previewed on 23 November at a Naturally Occurring Asbestos Forum for councils hosted by Local Government NSW at Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council.

Asbestos Awareness Ambassador, John Jarratt, said, "In recent years much has been done to alert homeowners and renovators to the dangers of disturbing asbestos materials," he said.

"However, it's imperative that we don't overlook that naturally occurring asbestos can affect people living and working in regional communities where they may come across it in its natural environment.

"This HACA video informs people what to look for and how to manage naturally occurring asbestos safely and will be another extremely valuable resource in the fight against asbestos-related disease."

Dunphy added that the video was the second major initiative launched by HACA during Asbestos Awareness Month.

"We're encouraging people to 'Get to kNOw Asbestos this November' in an effort to educate Australians about the dangers of asbestos," Dunphy said.

"This video is HACA's second major asbestos safety initiative following the launch of our new 1800 Asbestos number."

HACA works to improve the management, monitoring and response to asbestos issues in NSW by developing coordinated prevention programs and developed the NSW state-wide plan for asbestos, as well as a model asbestos policy for local councils.

The naturally occurring asbestos video can be viewed on You Tube and is an initiative of the State-wide Asbestos Plan 2013-2016. It's supported by a range of fact sheets, guidance materials and mapping of naturally occurring asbestos on the SafeWork NSW website.

For more information visit asbestosawareness.com.au or call 1800 Asbestos (1800 272 378).

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