Telstra Has New Guidelines For Asbestos Handling

You've probably heard more about asbestos in the last month or so than you'd care to, but now Telstra is finally issuing new public guidelines about how its employees and contractors should handle the deadly substance.

A preliminary review into the company's use of contractors has found a few gaps in subcontractor management. Here are the key areas Telstra's trying to improve:

• Strengthen field supervision staffing and oversight of sub-contractor staff. • Address gaps in induction procedures for new staff. Some contractors were found to have participated only in basic asbestos awareness and competency training. • Disclose sub-contractor procedures to Telstra to ensure safe asbestos handling and removal can occur. • Ensure all contractor and subcontractor staff complete mandatory training in asbestos management. Work with Telstra to reinforce the required standards for subcontractors’ field team supplies, ensuring all field staff carry adequate supplies for safe asbestos handling including signage, barricades, suits, masks, ground cover, removal bags, water supplies and recording equipment. • Work with Telstra to strengthen community engagement in remediation areas. Telstra has committed to working with NBN Co to create standard community engagement procedures and documentation.

There's a more detailed look at what Telstra plans to do on its Exchange blog. Check it out if you want some more info. [Exchange]

Asbestos image via Shutterstock

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