Fair Trading and SafeWork says asbestos contamination incident a cautionary tale

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is warning consumers to be cautious about engaging contractors offering roof restoration services following an incident where asbestos removal work was not undertaken within relevant regulations at a Fairfield residential property in August.

Mr Stowe said a 61-year-old Fairfield resident responded to a an advertisement displayed on a road side trailer offering full roof restorations and accepted a $3000 quote to undertake work on her home.

The trader applied water via a high pressure vessel to the asbestos sheeting on the consumer's roof resulting in asbestos dust being released within the property as well as the adjoining yard and neighbouring properties.

The property has since been remediated by the owners.

“Any home owner wanting to undertake roof repairs or restoration services should identify whether this is likely to involve working with asbestos and take all necessary precautions,” Mr Stowe said.

“Consumers should always engage a licensed asbestos removalist to undertaken any demolition or removal work that involves asbestos,” he said.

SafeWork Executive Director Peter Dunphy said work health and safety laws prohibit using high pressure water spraying of asbestos materials.

“SafeWork NSW and Fair Trading are continuing to investigate the incident,” Mr Dunphy said.

Anyone who is uncertain if asbestos may be present in their home can contact their local Council or the free asbestos advisory service asbestosawareness.com.au.