A reader's Asbestos question: Asbestos concerns?

Lynne B.   from   Brisbane, Australia   had some ssbestos concerns with the house next door.

  • The house beside me is being renovated (nearly completed now). It is a very old house made of fibro sheets.
  • When being removed these sheets were smashed into, not carefully removed by men not wearing protective gear. I watched in horror as broken pieces fell onto the ground.
  • I have spent weeks with exposed pieces poking through garbage bags, as the means of wrapping them up. I watched as workmen picked up broken pieces from the ground and then tossed them onto another heap, causing them to break further.
  • This house has also had its bathroom renovated. I suspect this area comprised fibro sheeting also. At the time, I heard banging in this area whilst the bathroom window was open. This window faces my lounge room.
  • Now painintg has commenced on the renovated sections of the house. I an very concerned how the painting will proceed on the fibro sheets. I am scared that this also will be a "cheap" job not managed professionally.
  • When the fibro sheets were being smashed into, I phoned three times to complain. I don't know the outcome of my complaints as I am not entitled to receive that information.
  • The only outcome that I am aware of is that the material was finally being covered and stored(sometimes) in a mini skip with lining instead of no lining.

Of course the owners were not living in the house at the time. What can I do and has my and my family's health been compromised. thank you

Bill's reply

Hi Lynne, I am surprised that this can happen anywhere in Australia in this day and age. If you rang up the authorities where I live, and if it was indeed asbestos containing material then they would close the job down straight away, no hesitation.

All I can really say is to again contact the right authorities and restate your concerns. This time do it in writing.

I am not sure whether they would be your city council or Qld government. Look for Occupational health and safety, work health, etc.

If you can't find the exact government department that handles this ring a licensed asbestos removalist and they should give you the correct address.

Once again, put your concerns in writing. You may not get a lot of satisfaction out of it, as the work has already been done, but the contractor should at least lose his builder's license.

Hello Bill Thank you for your suggestions, I will put my concerns in writing. best wishes Lynne

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