Asbestos Awareness Week Webinar 24 11 22

Presenter(s): Facilitator Andrew Orfanos

This webinar focusses on the experiences and lessons learnt from fires and floods in the management of asbestos to prevent exposures to workers and the communities caught up in the clean-ups. Our presenters have been on the front line dealing with the challenges of asbestos exposures during these tragic events.

Facilitator – Andrew Orfanos , Past President AIOH
Panel Discussion –  Speakers, Andrew Orfanos and Neil Shepherd, NATA

1. Impacts of Asbestos on the Community following NSW Wickham Fires
Jason Wall,  SafeWork NSW, Assistant State Inspector, Asbestos and Demolition Unit
This presentation covers the events of the 2022 fire at a storage facility (Old Wool store) on Annie Street, Wickham. Asbestos containing debris from the fire damaged roof of the Wool Store buildings travelled to neighbouring areas as a result of the smoke plume caused by the fire. A Local Recovery Committee was established to coordinate the clean-up of public domain areas and private residences impacted by the fire. The Local Recovery Committee developed a detailed Emergency Asbestos Management Plan which outlined the impact of the event and the clean-up process. The events and the Management Plan will be discussed in the presentation.

2. Management of Asbestos during the NSW Black Summer Bush fire
John Batty, Past President AHCA
The 2019-2020 black summer bush fires marked a period of unprecedented devastation in Australia. Following the fires there was an urgency to clean up and allow people to rebuild. This posed a risk to property owners and builders exacerbated by the fact that over a third of the buildings contained some form of asbestos containing material that had become friable due to the extreme heat. As one of the major hazards associated with the clean-up project asbestos had to be managed appropriately to ensure its safe removal and disposal and to allow the property owners to take over a safe site.  John Batty was engaged to ensure a safe and cost effective approach to the asbestos removal as part of the bushfire clean-up works.

3. Public Works Emergency Management Experiences with Asbestos Clean-ups in Large Scale Emergencies in NSW
John Formosa, NSW Public Works Dept, Environmental Manager / Project Manager
Since the Coonabarabran Bushfires in January 2013, Public Works have been involved in numerous asbestos clean-ups associated with tornadoes, floods, bushfires and large scale industrial fires. Each emergency has been undertaken with a different procurement framework and methodology, that is tailored to mitigate the risks associated with the event. This presentation will provide some insight into the Government framework for asbestos emergencies, lessons learnt and potential improvements gained from working more closely with the Industry.

4. National Residential Asbestos Heatmap to Support Asbestos Management in Disaster Events
Dr Georgia Khatib, Assistant Director, ASEA
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) have recently developed the first ever National Residential Asbestos Heatmap for Australia. The heatmap was developed by predictive modelling and maps the probability of asbestos presence by geographic areas across Australia. In this presentation we will provide an overview of the heatmap, including why and how the heatmap was developed, and how it can guide asbestos policy and strategic planning, including for disaster resilience, response and recovery.

Posted on 02/12/2022

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