17 Oct 2014

Asbestos risk warning for Canterbury

12:57 pm on 17 October 2014

Homeowners in Canterbury who are carrying out their own earthquake repairs are being warned they could be putting themselves at risk of asbestos contamination.

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WorkSafe has said up to 70,000 houses could be at risk of asbestos contamination during earthquake and other repairs. Photo: RNZ / Nicola Grigg

A group of government and local body agencies has launched a website designed to provide owners and contractors with information on how to identify asbestos, and manage the risk.

WorkSafe spokesperson Kathryn Heiler said the use of asbestos in buildings was extensive.

She said up to 70,000 houses could be affected, and those property owners could be putting themselves at risk.

"What we're seeing with the rebuild is a phase where many more homeowners are cashing out their settlements, so they're either commissioning their own work or maybe thinking that they might do it themselves."

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