Category Archives: Safety

WorkCover warns residents of asbestos dangers after bushfires


NSW is currently experiencing one of the worst fire seasons in 10 years which has damaged or destroyed properties across the State.

In response, WorkCover NSW is waiving the five-day asbestos removal work notification timeframe to allow immediate clean-up of asbestos debris.

WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division General Manager John Watson said under usual circumstances, the legislation requires a five-day waiting period before asbestos is removed.
“This five-day timeframe allows for WorkCover to review the adequacy of safety systems and site arrangements”, Mr Watson said.

However WorkCover is fast-tracking assessments to ensure fire damaged asbestos can be removed as soon as possible.

“Residents are being urged to seek out information on the potential risks of being exposed to asbestos and how to safely manage asbestos when cleaning up after the fire”, he said.

“As fire-fighters and other emergency services workers assess the damage, and residents begin to repair or rebuild, we want to make people aware of the danger of asbestos”.

“We must ensure that all sections of the community are aware of the dangers of asbestos and that asbestos debris is safely managed and the health of the community is protected”.

“Residents should be aware that fire-affected homes may contain fire damaged asbestos materials which need to be safely removed”.

Before tackling the cleanup of fire affected properties people need to consider the following:

1.       Avoid disturbing asbestos materials and keep any asbestos debris wet until it can be safely removed.

2.       The Asbestos Awareness website has information on the types of the asbestos materials commonly found in homes.

3.       Be aware of asbestos materials in your surroundings. A person conducting demolition of residential premises must ensure that all asbestos that this likely to be disturbed by the demolition is identified and safely removed.

4.       Notify WorkCover of any emergency demolition work involving asbestos before the work is commenced.

5.       Use only a qualified asbestos removalist licensed by WorkCover to ensure asbestos is safely and properly removed.

6.       Fire damaged asbestos materials can only be cleaned up by holders of a Class A asbestos removal licence.

7.       Air monitoring, clearance inspections must be carried out by an asbestos assessor licensed by WorkCover.

8.       Asbestos removal licence holders can be found on the WorkCover website or by contacting WorkCover on 13 10 50.

9.       All fire damaged asbestos material to be removed needs to be notified to WorkCover by the removalist.  The 5-day notification timeframe will be waived for premises affected by fire.


For more information on safely managing asbestos, contact WorkCover on 13 10 50 or visit



WorkCover reminder to check licences

WorkCover reminder to check licences

WorkCover is reminding people that they can contact WorkCover to check the licence of anyone intending to carry out a WorkCover-licensed activity after a number of fake licences from government agencies were detected across the country.
The licences that WorkCover NSW administers certify that the people carrying out potentially dangerous work are properly trained and are designed to manage the risks to workplace health and safety, with some of them extending to community safety and national security.
These can include licences to operate explosive devices and carrying out fireworks displays, to operate heavy machinery, and to conduct asbestos removal.
It’s important that people have confidence before any potentially high-risk work takes place that those individuals conducting the work are properly trained and licenced.
The warning comes after a number of recent incidents involving people carrying fraudulent licences or documentation.
Fraud can, and is, carried out across Australia and not just at work. But WorkCover is aware of a number of cases currently being investigated and /or prosecuted throughout Australia regarding workplaces.
For example, nine fake high-risk heavy machinery licences have been detected in Western Australia and NSW, and in Victoria there is a matter before the courts relating to a person allegedly operating under a fraudulent high-risk licence.
In March this year WorkCover NSW also successfully prosecuted an asbestos/demolition licence holder under the Crimes Act 1900 for altering the expiry date on an out-of-date licence
If you have a concern about the licence of someone carrying out work for you , one of the quickest ways to confirm their certification is to give WorkCover a call on 13 10 50.