Tradies encouraged to think twice about asbestos during national week of awareness

The 21st to 27th of November is National Asbestos Awareness Week and NT WorkSafe is encouraging all tradies and DIY renovators to stop and think twice about asbestos before starting work.

Asbestos is still present in older homes across the Territory, as well as in public and commercial buildings. If the building was constructed before 1990, it could still contain asbestos. Asbestos was used in over 3,000 products and can be found anywhere inside or outside the building.

NT WorkSafe has issued a Safety Alert after recent testing from a commercial building site and a residential home turn up asbestos in unexpected locations.
Asbestos causes cancer. If not identified correctly, the appropriate safety precautions won’t be in place to protect workers and other occupants of the building from asbestos exposure.

Recently two incidents in the Territory have occurred where tradies working on homes in Darwin and Alice Springs have damaged asbestos-containing material exposing themselves to asbestos and contaminating the homes.

Not correctly identifying asbestos-containing material also means improper disposal of the asbestos waste increasing further asbestos risk.

NT WorkSafe’s Manager, Work Health and Safety Assurance Mr Rob Fereday said it was important to remember that asbestos-containing material in good condition does not pose a risk if left undisturbed, but recommends DYI renovators and tradies play it safe and call in the experts at the start of their project.

“Asbestos causes cancer, so it’s not recommended that you handle, remove, or dispose of asbestos yourself.”

“Work with a licensed asbestos removalist as they have the training and equipment needed for the safe removal and disposal of asbestos,” Mr Fereday said.

“The safe disposal of asbestos is extremely important so that the health of council workers and members of the community are not put at risk.”

Further information on asbestos is available at and A list of licenced asbestos removalists in the Territory is available at

Further information

Communications Unit
0401 114 569