Update: At 5 pm on December 4, WorkSafe ACT announced that it had lifted the Prohibition Notice on the newsagency after testing by a licensed asbestos assessor revealed that the material at the site did not contain asbestos.
Earlier article: WorkSafe ACT has closed down the newsagency at the Fisher Shops due to possible asbestos contamination.
A Prohibition Notice was issued on the newsagency on Saturday afternoon but this was a precautionary measure and the risk to the community is said to be very low.
A licensed asbestos assessor is currently conducting tests at the newsagency with results expected to be known later today.
If any asbestos is found then remediation works will need to be completed and the site cleared by the assessor before the Prohibition Notice can be lifted.
Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones stressed that WorkSafe ACT’s action was precautionary.
“At this time it appears refurbishment works at the premise has resulted in some flooring being removed which may contain asbestos,” Mr Jones said.
“WorkSafe was informed by a member of the community, who we understand may have a construction or trades background, that the material which had been removed may contain asbestos backing.
“WorkSafe ACT responded by closing the shop and seeking the advice of a licensed asbestos assessor on the materials.
“I would like to assure the community that the risk of exposure is very low and these actions have been taken as a precaution.”
Mr Jones said that any remediation works required at the site will be undertaken by a licensed asbestos assessor and removalist.
He added that only the newsagency at the Fisher Shops is affected by the issue.