Peter Chamberlain speaks about the removal of asbestos with licensed demolition contractor Dennis Hennegan.
Peter Chamberlain speaks about the removal of asbestos with licensed demolition contractor Dennis Hennegan.

Asbestos-demolition stress - pressure on jobs extreme

By NADINE FISHER

THE stress of demolishing asbestosridden houses is taking its toll on demolition company owner Dennis Hennegan, whose family has been in the business for 40 years.

Mr Hennegan said the continual media attention on the problems associated with asbestos had made his job near impossible.

"We follow all the correct procedures for the safe removal of the asbestos sheets and I do 90 per cent of the big jobs in the area," he said.

"On this job (Thomson St) the workers wore masks, used thousands of gallons of water to wet the sheets down, wrapped and removed it."

Mr Hennegan said it was time Work Cover and the ministers sat down and looked at the problem.

"It's just getting out of hand. There was so much fibro sheeting used in the 40s and 50s for everything - in houses, in fencing, in gardens - we go to jobs and it can be buried under the house - we can't find every piece," he said.

"Work Cover doesn't know enough about demolition, they don't work on site to see the entire job they too are stretched to be on site at constructions, at accidents etc."

Mr Hennegan said the asbestos problem was not going to go away.

"The stress is so much that I feel like selling all my machinery, worth $1 million, and going on the dole," he said.

"It doesn't matter how carefully you follow the regulations there is still someone complaining.

"We can only do so much - it's stressing us all out, the demolition companies, workers, developers.

"I can't do any more unless the government wants to pay for the removal of all asbestos and put scaffolding and sheets over the entire area during demolition."



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