Identifying Asbestos

Hello there and welcome to this short presentation on identifying asbestos in the workplace My name is Cam Gleeson and I'm a teacher at the Swinburne Plumbing School in Croydon So we're going to be talking about two different types of asbestos friable and non-friable and there are over 3000 different asbestos products in the workplace out there that have been put into construction or used to build houses So there's two types of asbestos we're going to be talking about today Friable – friable is like a softer form of asbestos it was used for mainly for acoustic tiles Hand pressure can reduce it to powder When dry so it's very very dangerous

It's also been used for pipe lagging Friable doesn't have such a strong bond Non-friable asbestos was bonded with cement or a similar material and it's used to pour outside products that are more weatherproof The health hazards with asbestos fairly well-known but if you didn't know that asbestos at times contains tiny fibres and it causes a lung disease called asbestosis which can develop into lung cancer It can also develop into another disease called mesothelioma which is a form of lung cancer and you could be exposed to it and then not know about it for between 20 and 50 years In 2014 one hundred and twenty five people died from mesothelioma in Victoria So if you're a trades person and you're doing alterations to a building you need to know where asbestos is and you can do that by going to website set up by WorkSafe Victoria called asbestos

vicgovau If you're drilling into the eaves of houses old houses they can often look like they don't have asbestos and they do and vice versa so again go to asbestosvicgov

au to find out more Next we're going to talk about the guide to identifying asbestos and you can see that you have a thing called low-density board which is a ceiling sheet It's got – if you go into the ceiling you can see a trade name on low density sheeting and that trade name will tell you usually what's in it or you can look up the trade name and see if it has asbestos So this is friable asbestos we're talking about Low density board is softer than asbestos cement sheeting because of the calcium silicate plaster used to bond and the fibres are stuck together with that instead of cement so when tapped for example with a car key LDB will produce a dead or dull sound indicating a soft or low density product using hand pressure the head of a screwdriver will easily dent the surface if you're not sure I wouldn't even go that far I wouldn't even use a screw driver So LDB tends to bend or flex when pressure is first applied and will then tear rather than snap So it needs to be identified and in contrast the heads of the fasteners in asbestos cement sheeting to not sit level with the surface You know the age of the building will tell you really if it's got asbestos in it Anything that was built in the ‘70s will probably have asbestos in it somewhere The things to look out for if you're doing construction work are corrugated sheeting There's a profile of corrugated shedding called Super Six It's got large corrugations on it then corrugated tin and it's used for roofing and cladding and it's fairly easy to detect and the sheets are short they're usually in 1800 what 18 metre to 24 metre lengths and you can see them fairly obviously The other things that asbestos is used for is pipe lagging mastic sealant which is a little bit more hidden because it's in heaters and around windows and also in electrical switchboards there's asbestos because it was used as an insulator

If you're working in schools, asbestos is subject to aging So accident accidental damage flood and fire you need to manage those and asbestos is a hazard whether it's deemed to be high or low risk so high use buildings asbestos can if it has if they have asbestos in them that can easily get into the air and cause a lot of problems So only prioritize removal of all asbestos will protect children and staff from the risk so basically if you're going to see asbestos don't touch it and get a qualified person to deal with it So one of the education ministers from 2014 this is a few years ago quoted that undisturbed asbestos is very safe it would be inappropriate to encourage the view that schools should aim to achieve asbestos-free status It is neither the policy of the Victorian Government nor WorkSafe that safe asbestos-containing material should be removed That statement I think is incorrect There's no such thing as safe asbestos-containing material All asbestos is dangerous and needs to be dealt with We've got some other things on asbestos management in Victoria So you can go to different websites there the whole idea is to identify asbestos

When you go to Asbestos Victoria there's also an asbestos register so the asbestos register is where you're going to put your name down to say that you've been working on a site that contains asbestos So there's certain duties of people who are on site If you become a manager and you have other people working under you you need to look up your requirements and all of your obligations to do with asbestos The last thing that I wanted to talk about is illegal import of asbestos So all import of asbestos was banned from December 31 2003 but large quantities have been imported and they're coming from different countries that don't have as robust asbestos laws as Australia does and cheap imports So non-conforming building materials, they're fairly easy to recognise Plaster boards, roof sheets and sealing tape it's the hidden ones that are inside machines that are used but useful seals and insulation so in locomotives and motor vehicles because they can actually leak onto the road and onto railway stations in toys – so it can put people at risk and it's something to watch out for So that's my presentation on using asbestos I hope you've got something out of it Thanks a lot for listening

Source: Youtube

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