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    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    IR Minister meets with electrical apprentices to highlight asbestos safety

    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Thursday, July 07, 2016

    IR Minister meets with electrical apprentices to highlight asbestos safety

    Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace today joined a group of apprentice electricians in Rocklea on Brisbane’s southside to highlight the importance of asbestos safety. 

    Ms Grace was also joined by safety advocates Julie and Don Sager, who lost their son Adam to mesothelioma when he was just 25 years old. 

    “Julie and Don unknowingly exposed Adam to asbestos fibres when he was only 18-months-old during a home renovation,” she said.

    “This is quite a rare case, as most people who die of mesothelioma don’t develop symptoms until much later in life. 

    “It’s a terrible situation that no one should have to live through, and a very clear message for these apprentices to work safely.” 

    Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to raise community awareness of the risks of working with asbestos. 

    “Queensland is very fortunate to have an outstanding Asbestos Awareness Ambassador in rugby league legend Trevor Gillmeister,” she said.

    “Trevor speaks to workers across the state about how asbestos related diseases have devastated their families. 

    “For Trevor, asbestos safety is personal, as he lost his father several years ago to an asbestos-related disease he contracted through his work as a boilermaker.”

    Ms Grace said even though asbestos has been banned in Australia for some time, there was still a good chance it could be found in many older Queensland homes. 

    “Although asbestos is perfectly safe if it’s in good condition and left alone, it can be very dangerous if you start drilling into it or breaking it up – just the kind of jobs electricians may have to do in their daily duties,” she said. 

    “That’s why we need to remind the next generation of sparkies to ‘speak up’, and talk to their supervisor if something on the job doesn’t appear to be safe. 

    “I’d urge all apprentices and inexperienced workers to speak up if they’re not sure or notice that something is not right with the job you’ve been asked to do. 

    “Don’t be afraid to talk to your supervisor – your life or a mate’s life may depend on it. 

    “Complete the job as well and as efficiently as you can - but don’t ever sacrifice your safety just to finish quicker.”

    For asbestos safety information, visit www.qld.gov.au/asbestos or call 13 QGOV. 

    Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548