Asbestos at Work

Even though asbestos has not been used in building stock in Australia since the 1980s, and its importation was banned altogether in 2003, a large amount of the material remains in older buildings. Construction and maintenance workers are likely to encounter asbestos in the form of asbestos-cement sheet walls, asbestos-cement pipes, asbestos fencing and roofing materials, lagging and asbestos containing electrical switchboards.

As the spread of asbestos-related diseases gains momentum in the community, with the incidence of mesothelioma not expected to peak until 2020, the focus around Australia is on minimising exposure and introducing safe handling procedures.

This section includes links to relevant legislation and information on safe handling, as well as links to studies conducted into the incidence of asbestos related diseases in workplaces.

We have compiled a state-by-state and territory list of agencies and information resources in relation to legislation, regulations, and recommended safe-handling processes.

Click here to access a list of the main materials containing asbestos.

Click here to read more about past and current research projects involving workers.