Interior work at 60 Victoria street has ground to a halt, after the discovery of asbestos by Worksafe inspectors last week.
The first and second floors of the building, which began refurbishment in July 2017, were cordoned off at the end of March after Worksafe discovered there had not been an asbestos survey undertaken before work commenced. Regulations require a check for asbestos or asbestos-containing materials before refurbishment work on any structure built before January 2000, which includes the Victoria St building which was built in the 1980s.
Following the closure, air and swab sampling was undertaken to establish if there is asbestos present, and these tests have come back positive for the material. Inhaled asbestos fibres can scar lung tissue, causing fibrotic lung disease (asbestosis) and changes in the lining of the chest cavity.
A spokesperson for Worksafe said that a trace amount of asbestos has been confirmed in a confined space inside the work area, and the non-disturbance notice remains in force for the whole work area. “WorkSafe is working through next steps with the duty holder for how they will manage the presence of the asbestos.
The management plan will ensure there is minimal, if any risk, to the public,” the spokesperson concluded.