Coastal Asbestos are proud winners of the Master Builders Award for 2020 Excellence in Workplace Health & Safety Award

Coastal Asbestos are proud winners of the Master Builders Award for 2020 Excellence in Workplace Health & Safety Award

Working with explosive gases, sulphuric acid, asbestos and working at heights, 14 metres down a sewage well, that has one million litres of raw sewage pumped through it a day. This doesn’t sound like any other day at work, and I believe it wasn’t, however it was one of the most rewarding days at work we had had for a long time, and it is how we won a Master Builders Queensland Gold Coast Region Excellence in Workplace Health & Safety 2020, and this is the story.

It started just like any other job. We had a call at the office to ask if we would quote a project to remove some asbestos pipes from a pump station. We had no idea we were in for a 3 month saga that would end 18 months later in an award for Excellence in Workplace Health and Safety! It is not the biggest job we have ever done but it is by far the most complex job we have ever done.

Stick with me while I try to paint a picture for you.

The scope was to remove 60 metres of asbestos vent pipe that was four hundred and fifty millimetres wide and weighed twenty five kilograms a metre in total, fifteen hundred kilos from an underground sewage well, fourteen metres underground without contaminating the facility with asbestos fibres and allowing twenty four hours a day, seven days a week access for Gold Coast Council maintenance staff, just in case the pumps failed and sewage filled the streets.

The High-risk activities we had to manage were Friable and Non-Friable asbestos, work at heights, rope access work, work in confined spaces, working with explosive gases and working with acids. We were confident we had put the right team together and with months of meticulous planning, specialist training and purchasing specialty equipment, we were good to go!

The pump station itself was just a small non-descript brick building from the street. A building most people just walked past and gave no thought until the Deodoriser failed and there was a sour smell of sewage in the air. Inside the front door was like Dr Who’s Tardis. The steel gantry flooring covered the fourteen-meter-deep sewer well. The place was huge and it had a huge problem we were tasked with repairing.

The big day had come and stage one of the job was the smallest and highest risk. All we had to do was remove one metre of pipe, simple. That ‘simple’ one metre of pipe went from inside the wet well straight into the old Deodoriser ‘simple’. That one metre of pipe was the subject of so many meetings and discussions I could do it in my sleep. We assembled the team- the mood on site that day was tense and we had 5 representatives from Gold Coast Council on site scrutinising our every move.

There were two teams – the A class guys who were to build an enclosure to remove the pipe because it was deemed friable and the rescue team that were there on standby if the first team got in any trouble or needed anything during setup. Both teams assembled all their equipment and tools. We had been supplied with a “pipe blocker” that was going to be used to stop deadly explosive Hydrogen Sulphide gas from entering the workplace and no asbestos pipe was dropped into the well blocking the pumps and causing the streets to fill with sewage once the first section of pipe we removed, so that work could continue.

As soon as I opened the case on the “pipe blocker” I knew it wasn’t going to work. My heart sunk. The pipe blocker had been supplied by engineers that guaranteed it was the only tool for the job but as it turns out it was the only one, they could think of and it was no good. We had ten people onsite all eager for this job to be finished. The air was so tense you could cut it with a knife and I had no option other than to put my hand up and let everybody know we were going to be delayed until we had a resolution. I have always considered myself a big game player and when things got tough, I always had the ability to focus and get through. Today I would call on all of my experience and ingenuity. Today was game day and there was not going to be a reschedule if I had anything to do with it. The Council delegate and I were very clear, we were not proceeding unless we could work safe.  This was not negotiable, the clock was ticking and the pressure was on.

I have no idea where I got the idea from, but it looks like twenty-five years in the building industry, a vivid imagination and a few series of MacGyver had paid off. The solution was two meters of poly pipe, a hand pump, an irrigation connector barb, some netting, and a yoga ball or what we called a pneumatic pipe baffle. First, I had to sell the idea to the council delegate, then source the materials and build and test it in one hour. No pressure!

It was one of the most stressful and challenging shopping trips ever. The first shop I tried had run out of yoga balls and it took three other stops to get all the gear and a few spares just in case. We went through the assembly and testing onsite and just before we started I was handed a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar disclaimer to sign giving them permission to get the liquid waste trucks here if the pumps were damaged, to stop sewage from flowing into the streets. No pressure!

To set the scene, we harnessed up and attached a life-line, explosive gas detector and fitted the breathing apparatus connected to air tanks to the removal technicians. They lowered the yoga ball down the pipe filled it with air, crimped the hose then pulled on the netting pulling the yoga ball tight against the open end of the pipe in the raw sewage well blocking off the gases and creating a seal then tied it off. There were a few tense seconds when the alarm went off on the air bottles to indicate they were getting low. At first people thought it was the explosive gas monitor and the rescue team was getting ready to retrieve the asbestos removal crew but I knew it was the wrong alarm and calmly turned to the council head of safety and asked “is that one of yours?” He replied “No, is that one of yours?” You could have cut the air with a knife. It was the Friday before Father’s Day.  I looked at the council delegates and announced “I’ve got this nobody’s Father’s Day weekend is going to be ruined.”

The yoga ball performed brilliantly. It was perfect for the job and everybody went home safe and sound. I didn’t have to spend twenty-five thousand on sewage pumping and the one metre of pipe was safely removed. We won the award for an innovation in safety because we had created a totally new process and invented a totally new product. We had no idea when we entered the awards that our, on the fly MacGyver yoga ball inspired pneumatic pipe baffle was a winning idea. All we wanted was to keep people safe.

The rest of the job went without a hitch. We employed a few rope access technicians to hang from the ceiling and lower themselves down the well and resize the pipe into two-meter sections which we winched up and disposed of and the roof sections were resized and lowered down for transport.

Southport Asbestos Removal

Southport Asbestos Removal

Southport Asbestos Removal.

If you are renovating a home built before 1990 in Southport you will have asbestos that will need to be romoved call the experts today !Southport is a really up-and-coming for renovations, especially since the Light Rail has been through. There’s an increasing number of knockdowns but nonetheless people are still renovating. A lot of older homes are in Southport and many homes in Southport are lined inside and out with asbestos.

Last year a hail storm went through Southport and there has been hundreds of asbestos roof removals in Southport as a result. Almost every asbestos roof has been replaced under insurance. Asbestos fences in Southport are what we are seeing a lot of, and now the asbestos fence removal in Southport has become more of a search term than before.

There was a lot of asbestos bathrooms being removed in Southport as well, because all of the asbestos removal in the area there is due mainly to the hail storm. There is a heightened awareness of asbestos in Southport at the time, so now jobs to be done in Southport are asbestos [inaudible 00:00:56] for commercial properties, asbestos from off pipe removal as part of the 2018 Commonwealth games, right expanses, and within the renovation soon are asbestos bathrooms being removed weekly.

Other jobs we’ve done is some really big commercial jobs in Southport in the Southport Mall, which poses another challenge for us. We’ve really become commercial asbestos removal experts because of the amount of work we’ve actually done in Scarborough Street and the Southport Mall. Jobs like the removal of the asbestos Vinyl tiles in the old Heritage Bank Building , Asbestos wall and ceiling linings in the old Southport Bakery , some asbestos re roofs on the professionals real estate in the mall and many bathroom renovations a fences in the greater Southport area.

Some of the asbestos related services we offer in Southport are

  • Asbestos reports
  • Asbestos roof remova
  • Asbestos fence removal
  • Asbestos transport
  • Asbestos bathroom removal
  • Asbestos cladding removal
  • Asbestos commercial reports and registers
  • Asbestos wall removal
  • Asbestos ceiling removal
  • Asbestos eave removals
  • Asbestos pipe removal
  • Asbestos contaminated soil removal
  • Air monitoring
  • Asbestos testing

If you need an asbestos expert in Southport call the office on 0755703706 to book in an inspection for a quotation today! Or call into our office at 4/55 Upton street Bundall e mail admin@coastalasbestos.com.au

5 Things You Need To Know About Asbestos Fences!

5 Things You Need To Know About Asbestos Fences!

Asbestos fence removal is definitely not a DIY project.

Asbestos was used heavily in Australia from 1945 right up until its total ban in 1985 in the building and construction industry. Asbestos was used in over three thousand products so it should be no surprise it found its way into fencing products .

Especially because of its durability and fire resistance asbestos was perfect for use in the fencing industry in Australia. There are a few things you may be surprised to know about asbestos fencing products around your family home.

  1. Asbestos fencing was typically buried in the ground at least 500mm ( Half a meter ) the easiest and fastest way to remove this is with an excavator. Getting an excavator into your backyard may be easier than you think, there is a whole range of mini excavators available now. Some small enough to be driven through your front door!
  2. Unpainted asbestos fences are Dangerous! These fences were installed over 50 years ago in some places, and the elements have worn them down, and they are now continually releasing deadly asbestos fibres into the environment.
  3. Asbestos fencing comes in three main types, buried, post and rail, and woven. The last two are typically nailed or screwed to a timber sub frame.
  4. Asbestos fence removal is way above the limits of DIY enthusiasts most fences weigh around 2000 kg when removed and require careful planning control measures in place before works start. It’s a job for asbestos experts.
  5. When an asbestos fence is part of pool fencing, the pool fencing laws still apply. We get a lot of people who believe “it will be ok. It’s just overnight.” Its never going to be a good defence if there is a drowning. The Law requires temporary poll fencing in Queensland.

Just like any asbestos removal job, asbestos fence removal must only be safely removed by asbestos removal professionals. Transporting asbestos fencing in Queensland requires specialist licences and insurances. Your typical motor insurance will not cover you for an asbestos-related claim. Asbestos transport is the job of specialised contractors with the corrects equipment and knowledge to transport asbestos safely to registered waste facilities.

Coastal asbestos removal to the rescue!

Coastal asbestos removal to the rescue!

Coastal asbestos removal to the rescue!
Asbestos contamination on a development site a case study.

Shopping local is at the very heart of what we are about all of our suppliers are within 40 min of our office, and 99% of our customers are within 20 km of our business this means that when you need a rapid response to an asbestos contamination you can count on us we are local, we are on the road all day.

Recently we got a call from a local developer who was drilling some holes for the foundations on an empty block. The block had recently had four houses removed so they could build a hi-rise on this site it is not uncommon for some asbestos debris to be in the soil after a multi demolition. You just never know what people have buried in their backyards over the years, and no amount of asbestos is safe in a workplace like this.

The developer had their site shut down by the unions because some suspected asbestos was found on site and the union rep onsite called stop work this was an asbestos emergency job now . Stopping work is the responsible thing to do here as none of the workers had undergone asbestos awareness training if they had of called us before they started onsite, we would have happily delivered this training for them.

Stopping a development site with a full crew of men and a couple of machines can be an expensive undertaking 30 minutes of asbestos awareness training for civil operators looks like a great investment.

The two priorities are.

Making the site safe.Getting the site going again.

Next Queensland Workplace Health and Safety had been called to the site, and everyone was on edge. Now our builder was caught between a rock and a hard place none of this was his fault. When we got the call, we were able to attend site within 60 minutes we met with the site supervisor, the Union rep and Queensland Workplace Health and Safety addressed their concerns. We formulated a plan firstly a site inspection to identify, and asbestos on the surface is marking all suspected asbestos with marking paint next removed all the asbestos pieces, had the site inspected and a clearance certificate issued, and work resumed.

From the initial phone call to the inspection getting a clean-up crew to site and gaining a clearance certificate, we were able to get the site up and running in under two hrs. Minimal production time was lost and some valuable time was salvaged on this project that day.

Who Are You Going To Call Coastal Asbestos Removal today! 07 557030706

What happens to your home in a flood?

What happens to your home in a flood?

Flooding is very common in Australia the news is full of stories of ‘once in a lifetime floods ‘or “ 100 year high flood levels “ . I guess we need to accept that flooding is part of the Australian landscape and the most common type of flood is of rivers after large rain events there are 3 types of flooding In Australia they are.

Inland river (Slow onset Flooding)

Vast flat areas of parts of Australia may be come flooded when river overflow from many weeks or sometimes months of heavy rain. This type of flood can devastate low lying areas and rural communities causing loss of livestock, crops, infrastructure such as rail links, roads, fencing and in extreme cases whole towns can be cut off until the flood waters subside.

Mountain / Coastal Rivers (Quick onset flooding)

Flooding can occur more quickly in these coastal / mountainous areas because of the quick flow or mountain rivers created by run off from mountains. This combination of mountain rivers running to the ocean mean the flooding usually last for only a few days before the flood waters subside. The major risk with quick flooding is the warning time is much shorter and the risk of loss of life and property is much higher as a result of fast flowing water with a strong current. High and king tides in coastal areas can make flooding slower to drain away.

Flash Flooding

Flash flooding results in short intense bursts of rain and can happen anywhere any time and poses the greatest risk to life and property. People and animals are often swept away in flash floods and many cars are lost trying to cross flooded roads. It’s the most dangerous type of flood because of the lack of warning time.

So what happens next?

Water weighs approximately 1 ton per cubic meter and even more if it is full of silt and debris. In the Queensland 2011 floods the town of Grantham was decimated by flooding waters that removed whole buildings, just from the force of the water .Lives were lost and two people have never been found to my knowledge. Severe damage can occur from fast moving flood waters to your home, either by the water it self or by the debris that is carried in it. I remember driving out near Minden in the Lockyer Valley shortly after the 2011 floods and just about every bridge had a shed or a water tank wedged under it.

The mud, all that silt and soil that comes thru your home brings with it microbes, and if not treated will continue to release mould spores for the life of your home. This is why often the internal linings of your family home right up to the flood level will have to be removed, and a sanitising solution applied after the walls are thoroughly cleaned. Small things like all your power outlets and switches will have to be replaced, you home may require rewiring if there is damage to the electrical wiring/ meter board in your home. Especially if it needs to be brought up to code for repairs.

Asbestos is another thing to think about it can be found in many places in your home and the fact that the linings have to be stripped back to sanitise the home you may end up with a whole new interior of you home. Your roof may be replaced if the flood waters totally submerge your home as there is no way to clean and sanitise the roof space and underside of roofing and insulation. Things like doors and trims will have to be replaced as they are often destroyed when soaked in water. We have seen cases of highset homes surviving the flood waters but all the stumps holding up the home moved by fast running flood water having to be restumped.

Any way you look at it your home will not be able to move back into immediately if you are in a major flood for quite some time. Sadly, most if not all your belongings in the home will not be salvageable. It’s a stressful time and a time that the Great Aussie spirit rises to help out, remember the mud army in Brisbane during the 2011 floods an army of over twenty five thousand volunteers got in and helped with the clean-up speeding up the recovery efforts.

How To Get Your Asbestos Roof Replaced For Under $1000.00

How To Get Your Asbestos Roof Replaced For Under $1000.00

Asbestos roofs can cost from $10,000 to $40,000 there is a way to get the asbestos roof removed and a new roof installed for under $1000.00 and here’s how anybody can do it.

Asbestos was used in Australian between the 1940’s right up to its ban in 1985 for asbestos roofs amongst other building products. It was mixed with concrete to form all sorts of roof asbestos roofing or fibro roofing profiles the asbestos fibres were held within the matrix of the concrete mix. Over time this matrix is broken down and more and more deadly asbestos fibres are released as the elements continually pound the unpainted asbestos roofing.

When the asbestos roofing was manufactured it came with a recommended life span of 25 years all asbestos roofing is now well past its use by date and should be prioritised for removal. A new metal roof is the most popular choice for removal. This process can cost between ten and forty thousand dollars for homes and hundreds of thousands for commercial properties depending on the size.

There are three main types of asbestos roofing profiles there is the Corrugated asbestos roofing is commonly known as “super six roof “which had 50mm ( 2 inches) corrugations or the smaller “standard “ which has 25mm (1 inch) corrugations these are very common in Australia.

The other types are asbestos shingles and asbestos membrane roofing the asbestos roof shingles are not as prevalent as the corrugated fibro roofs and asbestos membrane roofs are mostly found on commercial buildings. Asbestos shingles and corrugated roofing are commonly not painted and have a grey concrete colour. With age they all become very brittle and non-repairable.

Super six corrugated asbestos roofing.Standard corrugated asbestos roofing.Asbestos shingles.Asbestos membrane roofing.

The good news is most standard insurance policies will cover for storm damage to asbestos roofing of all types and conditions. Simply stated if your asbestos roof is damaged in a storm event it is highly likely the entire roof removal and new replacement roof can be claimed under your standard building insurance.

Damage can be from anything to hail damage which presents as white dot’s over the roof. This happens when the hail stones impact the asbestos roofing and cause the surface to be blasted by hail removing the top layer of the surface of the sheeting, it can be as little as a few millimetres of the surface to cracking and in extreme cases holes all the way through the sheet.

Other types of damage are impact created by a storm event from trees, tv aerials flying objects anything at all. Because asbestos roofs are not repairable even one cracked piece of the roof that has been damaged by a storm can result in the entire roof being replaced under standard building insurance all for the price of your excess which is usually under one thousand dollars.

So, what you need to do is after a storm? If you believe there may be storm related damage to your asbestos roof , call your insurance company to make a claim.Or you can get us out to inspect your roof and compile a roof report for you documenting any damage to your asbestos roof. You can contact us on 07 55703706 or send us an e mail to admin@coastalasbestosremoval.com.au and we will send out one of our qualified inspectors for a fraction of the cost of a claim.