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Prosecution Details

Defendant Sean O'Connor
Trading Name Busselton Demolition
Regulation 5.50(a)
Offence Date Tuesday, 3 June 2003
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed to ensure that work involving the use of asbestos cement building materials at the workplace was done in accordance with section 9 of the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos [NOHSC: 2002 (1988)]; contrary to regulation 5.50(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996, made under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The defendant operates a demolition business and for the purpose of demolishing a house at Bunbury he employed a labourer to assist him. The cladding on the outside walls of the house consisted of asbestos cement sheeting.

On the morning of Tuesday 3 June 2003 the labourer and another person engaged by the defendant to assist the labourer commenced removing the asbestos cement sheeting by breaking it with a sledgehammer. The asbestos cement sheeting had not been wetted down and no plastic sheeting was used to keep removed sheeting contained.

The defendant failed to ensure that asbestos sheeting removed from the house was handled and disposed of in accordance with section 9 of the relevant code of practice. Specifically, section 9.2 of the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos NOHSC:2002(1998) requires that when removing asbestos cement wall roofing, wall sheeting or other fibro products from buildings:
- The asbestos cement sheets should be sealed or wetted with water;
- Asbestos cement sheets should be removed with minimal breakage and should be lowed to the ground, not dropped;
- The removed sheets should be removed with minimal breakage and should not be allowed to lie about the site where they may be further broken or crushed by machinery or site traffic;
- All asbestos-containing waste should be kept wet, wrapped in plastic or otherwise sealed and removed from the site as soon as practicable, using covered bins or on a covered truck.

The defendant pleaded guilty.




Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 07 Sep 2004
Court Busselton Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $3,500
Costs $178.45
Charge Number 2693/04