Update - NALHN – Modbury Hospital Asbestos Concerns

07 August 2018

The Public Service Association (PSA) has received a response from the NALHN Manager of Workforce Health and Safety (WHS) further to the PSA Information Update sent to members on 3 August 2018 regarding safety concerns and asbestos on an area of Level 6 that is used for storage of files for Medical Records and also in Medical Records itself.

The response stated:

“Level 6 Modbury Hospital
1. The roof above was resealed in 2015 as it had previously experience some water leaks. The mitigation action for roof water leaks is to make safe the area through isolation, swab testing and repair/replacement of any ceiling tiles. Access is reinstated once a clearance certificate/letter is provided by the certified Asbestos contractor. To date, all testing has come back negative and there have been no reports of any further leaks from the roof/ceiling. The dust particles on the boxes mentioned in your email below do not contain asbestos.

2. Our Engineering and Building and DPTI Facility Services have asbestos registers and asbestos management plans (which includes information from swab tests, isolation controls, etc.) for Modbury Hospital. A 3rd copy is available at the DNC’s office. These documents articulate the location and presence of asbestos. However, please note that these documents are updated regularly as and when swab tests are conducted.

3. There has been no instruction/direction to store boxes elsewhere on Level 6. Records on Level 6 are currently being sentenced and will continue to be sent offsite once this task is complete.

4. Signage will be improved to clarify areas where asbestos is present (note: this will be reviewed routinely), and access requirements (note: the current ‘hazardous area’ signage is primarily for contractors accessing confined spaces).

5. Training and education will be provided to Medical Records staff in due course (note: the content of the training will cover the main points above)

Basement of Modbury Hospital
The ceiling tiles in the compactus area had to be removed to increase the shelving height for additional storage space. There has been no presence of asbestos in the ceiling tiles at the basement, and this information can be verified in the asbestos register. We will share this information with staff during future training sessions.”

The PSA welcome the above response from NALHN WHS which provides clear information and assurances for staff on the status of these areas and the pathway forward.

Members are encouraged to monitor the above areas and the processes regarding further training and information, and to raise any further concerns immediately with their managers and WHS Representatives.