Astron was engaged by Monadelphous KT to implement a long term monitoring program for naturally occurring asbestos as part of ground disturbance activities associated with the installation of a subsurface gas pipeline in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Asbestiform fibrous hydrated silicate minerals occur naturally throughout Western Australia’s Pilbara region. It is well known that there is significant health risks associated with the inhalation of airborne fibrous minerals. Regulations state that employers have a duty to ensure that the exposure of workers to airborne fibrous minerals is within regulatory standards and as low as reasonably practicable. Achieving this requires using appropriate strategies to recognise, evaluate and control such hazards to workers.
An initial stage of geological interpretation involving data acquisition and in field geological mapping was conducted to identify areas of potential risk. Following this stage of data acquisition, an extensive occupational air monitoring program was executed in accordance with the Department of Mines and Petroleum-Management of fibrous minerals in Western Australian mining operations across 300km of pipeline installation. Results from the monitoring program coupled with detailed onsite geological assessment allowed Astron to accurately assess the risk and deliver targeted management intervention as required.