About 100 tonnes of asbestos-containing material was uncovered at Kalgoorlie Health Campus during carpark upgrades, with the last 70 tonnes to be removed in the next week.
WA Country Health Service Goldfields regional director David Bowdidge said construction works were under way on the new carpark, with excavation works scheduled between July 17 and July 27.
Mr Bowdidge said excavation of a trench on July 24 revealed an unknown substance in the subsurface soil, suspected to be asbestos, and work immediately stopped and the site secured.
On July 26, the substance was confirmed as asbestos.
“Subsequently, about 30 tonnes of asbestos-containing material — primarily earth with broken pieces of asbestos from ancient building materials —was bagged and removed from the site in accordance with best practice guidelines by a licensed contractor,” the Country Health director said.
“This bagged material was disposed of at the local waste refuse site as authorised by the Shire council.”
Mr Bowdidge said further assessment of the site found another 70 tonnes of the material needed to be removed and this was due to happen in the next week.
“Environmental consultants have been engaged to attend at the site during removal and remediation works to monitor the works for safety requirements and provide site clearance,” he said.
“The site will be remediated with clean fill to replace the removed contaminated soil to a minimum depth of 300mm over the residual soil. It will then be landscaped with the completion of the carpark and registered as a contaminated site with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
Mr Bowdidge said the hospital did not know of the presence of the asbestos and it was believed to be from demolition of an ancient building on that site about 40 years ago.
He said there had been no risk to staff or patients with discovery or management of contamination.
“The site is secured and no one is working directly in the area from which the ACM was removed,” he said.
Long-term asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs and abdomen.
Let’s block ads! (Why?)