249. Asbestos in fire door | hard flooring discrimination | unreasonable refusal

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Reena Van Aalst Strata Central

In this packed episode, Reena and I cover:

  • what can be done when an owner won’t agree to their front fire door being tested for asbestos 
  • why anti-discrimination legislation is increasingly relevant to strata
  • the owners who successfully proved the unreasonable refusal of their renovation application
  • why we need more access to unreported cases from our Tribunals
  • why I’m getting up at 3am this week! 

Links mentioned:

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Regarding the fire door testing for asbestos.
    The solution proposed does not sound workable (IMO) and perhaps not compliant.
    Not workable; Fire doors, especially asbestos ones are heavy, so I believe lifting to door (once open and off it’s hinges) and tilting it to clear the frame would be difficult without stepping inside the lot and permission has not been granted.
    The hinge pins will only be visible from inside the lot when the door is closed, when the door is opened by a locksmith then the hinges will be accessible, but in older doors the hinge is frequently welded onto the frame and the screws should should not be removed from the door side of the hinge (reason being it would expose and release the friable asbestos) – so the hinge pins would need to be lifted; from outside and put back in from outside, when reinstalling – Seems difficult.
    Non-compliant. Correct licensing workers. Older fires doors suspect of containing asbestos must be treated as friable asbestos. To do this work, both removing and sampling the door, the worker should be a licensed friable asbestos hygienist.
    Many times fire door installers / certifiers do this sampling themselves in a non-compliant manner. The resident (IMO) is correct to be concerned about the potential mishandling. If a properly licensed friable asbestos hygienist was to give the resident the hygienist’s safe work method (process) then most probably the fears of the resident would be allayed and access would not be an issue anyway. It seems likely that since the risk ‘reduction’ is to be via removing an asbestos door and carrying it through common property to test elsewhere (inherently more risky) perhaps indicative that a improperly licensed or an improper work method is proposed. Oftentimes sampling of the core for is done via the removal of the entrance set hardware, which can be down safely via sealing a clear box around the door handle and applying a vacuum using an industrial hepa vacuum (not a residential vacuum) – see attached paper from safework nsw https://regdfsi.secure.force.com/pkb/articles/LMT_Abstract/asbestos-core-fire-doors 
    Please check that the intended asbestos sampling is to be done a compliant/safe manner.

    Reply
  • Colin Campbell
    January 28, 2021 10:29 am

    I agree with the previous points raised.

    What about the asbestos register for the building ???

    The cost to get the door removed and the hygienist there means the cost of a new door is sometimes a practical solution

    Further what does the stamp say on the door – often a great hint as to it being asbestos or not

    I agree also the owner has every right to disagree because my experience is that some owners treat Asbestos doors as if they are not an issue and some locksmiths are more than happy to work on an asbestos door and say nothing

    The new AFSS fire code with certified Fire Safety Practitioners means this area is now been done properly (About time)

    Reply
  • Amanda, Peta is correct asbestos is deadly, my late husband died of mesothelioma , he always worked on an office, never attempted home renovations, it only takes one fibre to lodge in your lungs and up to 40-50 years before it shows up , there is no cure.

    When the painters were in our building to save time they removed the door knockers and some locks to save getting paint on them, I remarked about the dangers of asbestos to our secretary, especially when sanding back the eaves in our building which we do know contain asbestos, before painting . I was told I making a fuss about nothing, another resident called me a trouble maker and I should think of the extra costs to the OC if the painters had to spend time taping up all the door furniture and damping down the eaves before scraping off the peeling paint.

    As Peta explained caution is paramount, only if the correct procedures are in place prior to any tradesmen attempting to disturb asbestos in fire doors , eaves or anywhere in most older buildings .

    Tucki Tucki

    Reply

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