Asbestos regulations in New Zealand moving forwards
UK Asbestos Training Association welcomes global efforts tackling asbestos
The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has backed measures recently introduced in New Zealand which will ensure owners of commercial buildings built before 2000 have all asbestos locations in their building on record and surveyed. UKATA welcomes the new regulations, with reports suggesting that New Zealand is approximately 20 years behind when it comes to asbestos regulations in buildings.
“The regulations that came into effect on 4 April are a necessary step towards New Zealand reaching EU standards of asbestos handling,” said UKATA General Manager Craig Evans. “The introduction of this law signals a key shift in the attitude towards the responsible management and disposal of asbestos, which will no doubt help bring New Zealand closer to the levels of asbestos safety we have in the UK and a welcome change which looks towards better global standards of asbestos management.”
Last December, a construction company in Christchurch was fined $45,000 for failing to identify and manage asbestos at a demolition site and while there have been concerns over the cost implications in New Zealand, UKATA points out that enforcement must run in tandem with education and training.
“I expect we’ll see a significant reduction in instances like these, with tighter regulations and more informed building owners,” added Craig. “Whilst some have concerns over the cost implications of the new regulations, it’s worth remembering that education, surveys and proper training will help building owners avoid unprecedented fines such as the one in Christchurch last December. The UK will be playing its part in helping New Zealand improve in all these areas and ultimately save lives.”
With the increased demand for surveys, some New Zealand contractors are already recruiting British surveyors to meet the demand. With the high standard of regulation coming into force, and trade associations such as UKATA stand ready to assist and the UK continues to lead by example and set the precedence for high standards when it comes to the handling and management of asbestos globally.
UKATA members provide training on asbestos safety, delivering the highest standard of asbestos training in the UK. For further information on UKATA, or to check out the very latest news and updates, visit www.ukata.org.uk