Queensland, Australia, to tighten asbestos regulationQueensland, Australia, recently released the results of an independent audit of the Queensland State Schools Asbestos Management procedures, which will likely help the state government improve the way it handles the deadly mineral.
The first step that the Queensland government took in response to the audit was to ban contractors who do not handle asbestos properly, according to the Brisbane Times.
"Any individual or organization found to have contravened regulations in relation to working with asbestos will be dealt with severely," Geoff Wilson, Queensland's minister for education and training, told the news source. "This includes the option of being indefinitely banned from performing future work on, or in, Department of Education and Training facilities."
The audit produced 13 recommendations for how the state could tighten its existing asbestos policies and procedures. State officials said that they would adopt all of them.
"We will also be tightening contract conditions to include financial penalties to any company breaching asbestos management guidelines," Wilson said.
Still, opposition members of the government say that these new procedures are coming too late.
"That teachers and staff have been left in the dark about proper procedures for dealing with these threats is shameful," opposition education spokesman, Bruce Flegg, told the news provider.
The inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis.