WorkSafe Victoria is urging businesses and consumers who need asbestos services to avoid using a certain Brisbane company which is being investigated for allegedly charging companies to test asbestos samples but failing to have them tested.
The Queensland Office of Fair Trading is investigating Asbestos Audit Pty. Ltd. and its director after receiving a complaint from a regional Queensland council. It found that the company had been consistently invoicing clients for samples taken but not tested.
“Not only is Asbestos Audit making misleading representations about its services and accepting payment for services not delivered, but this behaviour is potentially putting peoples’ health at risk,” said OFT’s Executive Director Brian Bauer.
“The deceptive behaviour is unacceptable, especially when those responsible for engaging Asbestos Audit’s services have been of the genuine belief Mr. Rentoul ran a company providing comprehensive testing services.”
Mr. Bauer said those who have dealt with the company should contact OFT immediately.
“It’s possible there are several victims who are unaware that they have been misled,” he said.
WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams said that if the allegations were true, the company acted outrageously.
“Asbestos is a dangerous substance, which is why employers put their faith in companies such as this one to ensure appropriate testing is conducted,” said Ms. Williams.
“Employers need to have confidence that testing procedures are carried out to ensure workplace health and safety is never compromised.”
Ms. Williams said businesses who have engaged the company should check whether the company provided NATA-accredited analysis reports for all samples taken at their site as part of the report.
“If such reports have not been, or cannot be, provided, they should organise for a competent person to re-take those samples and have them analysed by a NATA accredited laboratory,“ she said.
Victorian businesses who may have concerns about the company’s testing procedures should contact the Queensland OFT by calling 13 74 68 or make a complaint online.