The hazards of working with asbestos-containing products
Although the importation of raw asbestos is banned here, New Zealand does not have the same restrictions on asbestos-containing products as Australia. Great Wall and Chery vehicles in New Zealand will therefore not be recalled. However, asbestos is a hazardous substance and presents a significant health risk if a person is exposed to dust from using a wire brush or grinder on asbestos-containing materials.
This is a timely reminder for those doing maintenance work on these vehicles to handle and dispose of asbestos-containing friction products with extreme caution.
All employers have duties under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 to ensure the safety of their employees at work. The Health and Safety (Asbestos) Regulations 1998 specifically outline the duties of employers (and other people) in relation to working with asbestos safely, including methods for removal and disposal, and also require that any products containing asbestos are clearly marked.
Employers and their staff who do maintenance work on Great Wall and Chery vehicles must meet the requirements of the regulations, and are expected to take account of other information available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (the former Department of Labour) website about dealing safely with asbestos. This includes our New Zealand Guidelines for the Management and Removal of Asbestos which contain information about asbestos friction products such as brake linings and gaskets: view guidelines here.
If you have questions relating to the handling and disposal of asbestos, contact the Labour Group of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 0800 20 90 20.
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment