Finally some progress has been made in the Mr Fluffy saga which will hopefully protect trade workers from getting a potential fatal asbestos induced disease.
Following a review by the Asbestos Response Taskforce, it was decided that mandatory tags be placed in meter boxes of Mr Fluffy homes as a safety precaution.
Now Mr Fluffy homes in Canberra will be required by law to have high visibility tags fitted in their meter boxes to protect the tradies who may be inadvertently exposed.
Unfortunately although Mr Fluffy installed the asbestos insulation during the 1960s and 1970s, many homes in Canberra still contain loose amosite asbestos and when tradies undertake work on these old properties, they are at risk of prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibres which can cause fatal diseases. Not to mention that homeowners and their families are also exposed.
The new law dictating that all Mr Fluffy affected homes in Canberra be fitted with a visible tag in their meter box was announced by ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.
The tagging will be rolled out shortly for more than 1000 Mr Fluffy homeowners. The review of the Asbestos Response Taskforce is still outstanding and will become available soon.
It is believed that the review will recommend the demolishing of all Mr Fluffy homes. The mandatory tags will be provided free of charge to homeowners by ACT Worksafe who will also be responsible for enforcing the new law.
By 1 January 2015 all Mr Fluffy homes will have to have their tags displayed or homeowners face fines of up to $3200. WorkSafe will either affix the tags for homeowners or they can choose to do it themselves.
Chief Minister Gallagher went on to state:
“It is important that the government focus not only on those living in affected Mr Fluffy houses, but also apply strategies to protect tradespeople and other workers who may come into contact with affected homes.”
“This legal requirement to display a tag in the meter box is the latest step to deal with the Mr Fluffy situation and balances the need to ensure tradespeople and workers are aware a home is affected by loose-fill asbestos insulation against the personal interests of homeowners and occupiers who have requested their privacy be respected.”
Chief Minister Gallagher also reminded all AC T builders and tradespeople that they must still be trained in asbestos risk and must complete their training before September 30th as mandated by the government.
Homeowners also have a responsibility to inform all tradespeople that may work on their homes that it is a Mr Fluffy home and may be affected by the asbestos.
Gallagher went on to explain:
Tradespeople were also urged to discuss the circumstance of homes they may be working on with homeowners, ask for copies of any asbestos assessment reports for the property and engage appropriately licensed asbestos experts to assist with the work to be undertaken.
“It is also important to note that the law does not absolve a homeowner’s responsibility to inform tradespeople that their home is affected by Mr Fluffy insulation, or to provide a copy of any asbestos assessment report,” Ms Gallagher said.