WorkSafe WA recently issued a safety alert reminding painting professionals and other contractors that high pressure water cleaning of asbestos cement material is prohibited.
The alert was issued following an incident where a registered painter used a high-pressure water cleaner on an asbestos cement roof to prepare it for painting, which resulted in the property and neighbouring properties being contaminated by asbestos.
Cleaning up properties contaminated by asbestos residue from high pressure water cleaning of asbestos cement material is a very expensive process. Clean-up costs of between $7,000 and $50,000 have been reported.
The use of high-pressure water on asbestos cement material is prohibited under Regulation 5.14 and Schedule 5.2 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996. It is also prohibited under the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992 administered by local government authorities.
The alert said there were a number of contributing factors to the incident:
The alert said there are a number of required actions as a result: