Monday the 25th of November kicked off National Asbestos Awareness Week, and at SHAPE, we are raising awareness through our very own Asbestos Awareness Pie Campaign. Throughout the week, we are hosting talks for our employees and subcontractors and catering meat pies to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and related illnesses.
With the theme of “Asbestos lurks in more places than you’d think”, we are joining hundreds of government and non-government organisations, in encouraging Australians to be aware of where asbestos may be found and to promote risk assessment for workers on site.
Australia was one of the highest worldwide users of asbestos through history. Despite its use being banned since 2003, large amounts of asbestos are still present in many Australian homes, workplaces and the environment. At the height of its use, asbestos was in over 3,000 products, and many of these products are still present in our homes and workplaces.
It is estimated that 4,000 Australians are dying from asbestos-related diseases every year. Inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause a range of deadly diseases including mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer. There is no cure for mesothelioma, and the prognosis is very poor.
While the work health and safety arrangements in place across Australia have resulted in strong protections for workers against the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres, we must remain vigilant to its presence and associated dangers. This is especially true for those in construction and following work health and safety laws is of utmost importance.
For more facts on asbestos, visit https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/