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Safe-T-Bulletin

Issue 373 - 6 June 2013


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Industry News
Long-awaited bullying code released
Broadband asbestos clean-up underway
Directors can’t shirk responsibility
Compo barriers should drop
Worker’s leg amputated
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Health and Safety Representative - Refresher training available across Australia
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Safety Advisor Commercial Construction (NSW)
Safety Manager (NSW)
HSEQ Manager Building Construction (NSW)
EHS Advisor (NSW)
P/T WHS Advisor (NSW)
Compliance and Systems Manager (NSW)
State Manager - Workers Compensation (VIC)
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Broadband asbestos clean-up underway

New asbestos management and an asbestos register are being introduced in the wake of last week’s National Broadband Network (NBN) asbestos scare.

Currently, Telstra is digging up thousands of cable pits in preparation for the rollout of the NBN for the federal government. Many of these pits are lined with asbestos.

Last week, some of this work was suspended when contractors were found to be smashing pits without taking appropriate precautions.

Telstra said in a media statement that since the incident, it had appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers and executive director of Telstra Network Construction, John Gibbs, to oversee its asbestos management.

Also, the suspension of pit remediation would remain for contractors and sub-contractors until they had completed further asbestos-related training.

Earlier this week, Telstra met with the Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten and with federal department, union and NBN Co representatives to discuss the problem.

After the meeting, Minister Shorten said in a media statement that the participants had agreed to support the establishment of a national asbestos exposure register to be administered by the Office of Asbestos Safety.

An independent taskforce would also be set up to monitor Telstra’s asbestos management. The taskforce would comprise senior Telstra representatives, the Office of Asbestos Safety, Comcare and workplace health and safety regulators, industry and union representatives, Barry Robson (Asbestos Disease Foundation of Australia) and Geoff Fary (chair of the Asbestos Management Review).

Telstra also agreed to identify and publish the whereabouts of all its pits that contain asbestos and to implement an asbestos removal program.

Meanwhile, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Bill 2013, which was introduced into federal parliament in March, is still before parliament.

As reported previously in the Safe-T-Bulletin, the bill sets out the functions of the new Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, which include implementing the national strategic plan, providing ministerial advice on asbestos safety, and monitoring and promoting research about asbestos safety.

For more details, visit the Minister and Telstra

 

 
   
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