Tuesday, March 25, 2008

WorkSafe confirms asbestos suspension

WorkSafe today confirmed via email that City Circle was indeed suspended for ten months from removing asbestos in May 2005, and is currently not licenced to remove the deadly fibres.

According to WorkSafe, the company was last licenced in 2006 but did not meet the criteria for renewal and so its licence was not renewed. WorkSafe said the exact date in 2006 of the company's last licencing would need to be confirmed by reference to archives. A recent email inquiry to the company regarding the circumstances of its past licencing has so far met with no response.

As mentioned in other posts on this blog, City Circle – which is well qualified to knock the buildings over – will sub-contract out asbestos removal to a company licenced by WorkSafe. While the identity of the sub-contractor is yet to be published by the Office of Housing, WorkSafe confirmed in the same email that Imajika Pty Ltd is the licenced sub-contractor for this project. According to WorkSafe's website, the company is currently licenced as a Class B asbestos removalist, but separate inquiries show it is not included on the Victorian Trades Hall Council's latest list (No. 80) of recognised asbestos removalists.

VTHC publishes the list every three months to inform people which companies have signed its stringent asbestos code of conduct, which goes beyond Victoria's legal and regulatory requirements of asbestos licencing by WorkSafe.

The licencing of the sub-contractor is good news, but the asbestos track record of the lead demolition contractor is not. One would have thought this was precisely the kind of information that the Office of Housing ought to have disclosed in the public interest. Maybe they can explain why they didn't at Friday's public meeting?

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