Property owner left with $9,000 clean-up bill after unlicensed handyman’s asbestos removal work

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Homeowners are urged to take the necessary precautions after a property owner was left with a $9,000 asbestos clean-up bill when an unlicensed handyman demolished a garage at his property.

The property owner hired the handyman to remove the garage as part of renovations at his property in Helen Street. But instead of demolishing the garage in small stages, the handyman broke up the fibro sheets, leaving asbestos debris scattered throughout the property, putting at risk the health of the owner and neighbours.

The handyman also mowed the area where the asbestos fragments had fallen, potentially scattering more fragments.

After learning the issue, SafeWork NSW directed the owner to remediate the property – with a subsequent bill of $9,000. The handyman was fined for unlicensed asbestos removal work.

“In NSW, there are legal requirements regarding asbestos management, its removal, and disposal,” said SafeWork NSW Executive Director Peter Dunphy.

“The licensed removalist will notify SafeWork about the asbestos that is being removed and ensure all asbestos likely to be disturbed by demolition work is identified and safely removed.

“The actions of the handyman are completely unacceptable and SafeWork NSW has taken action against him for placing people’s health at risk.

“Protect yourself, your family and your neighbours by always following the legal and safety requirements for the management of asbestos, including engaging a SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos removalist,” he said.

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