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Working with hazardous materials

Waterproofing remains one of the main defects in many projects throughout the building and construction industry and often fails after the project has been completed.

In addition to the waterproofing being completed correctly, is ensuring that the correct control procedures have been managed, as to avoid risks associated with working with hazardous chemicals.

In November 2021, a worker was injured whilst undertaking waterproofing on a balcony. Due to impending weather, a temporary plastic canopy was installed over a balcony to act as a rain barrier.

Whilst completing the project, the worker was using a highly flammable solvent-based contact adhesive, membrane sheets, and a hot air tool. An open plastic bucket containing the decanted adhesive ignited, and remained on fire, resulting in second to third-degree burns to both legs of the worker. Parts of the balcony, including the plastic canopy, caught on fire.

It is imperative to consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risks associated with working with hazardous chemicals and when conducting hot work activities.

myBIG has many resources within the library to assist you and your team in managing your control measures. You can read more on this particular incident here from SafeWork NSW.

Hazardous Chemicals