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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    High up above and deep down under

    Default Man fined over removal of asbestos from ceiling

    Man fined over removal of asbestos from ceiling

    By court reporter
    A self-employed Whangarei man has been fined $2000 for failing to tell the Department of Labour he was removing asbestos from a home.

    Rodney Beehre, a decorative coatings applicator from Onerahi, was charged under the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations, and pleaded guilty to failing to notify the department.

    The offence carried a maximum fine of $250,000.

    The Whangarei District Court heard that Beehre was hired to remove and replace the ceiling texture of a residential unit in Selwyn Ave in 2004.

    The unit's owner told Beehre she suspected there was asbestos in the ceiling.

    He indicated it wasn't toxic and he would remove it, Judge John McDonald said.
    "You removed it and packed it in paint tins and sacks and took it to the (Whangarei) landfill without advising the landfill," said the judge.

    The paint tins and sacks were not labelled as asbestos waste, while Beehre failed to tell landfill staff that he was dumping asbestos waste.

    A neighbour became concerned about the removal and disposal of the asbestos and contacted the Department of Labour, which launched an inquiry.

    "They found out you removed it without telling them and in an inappropriate way," the judge said.

    "As anyone knows, it can cause health problems if not handled properly."

    Beehre had already spent $1429 tidying up the site and was fined $2000 and ordered to pay $130 court costs.

    Department of Labour health and safety service manager for Northland, Ian Baxter, said after the sentencing that there was a risk of asbestos exposure through inhalation if it was not removed and disposed of in a safe manner.

    Friable (crumbly) asbestos could only be removed from a building by people person holding a certificate of competence for restricted work, and they must notify the Department of Labour of any work being carried out.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Christchurch, New Zealand


    Well, in a way he was correct. It's not toxic as such. It's carcinogenic (may cause cancer). When I left the UK 10 years ago, around 5000 people were dying each year from asbestos-related diseases... that's compared to a couple of hundred or so who died in workplace accidents. My step father in Canada died of mesothelioma.

    I was quite surprised when I moved here that there's quite a blase attitude towards asbestos. But I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a big issue in the next decade or so - just like OOS was in the 90s or stress is these days.

    *Steps off soap box*


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