Safety alert 03/2010 - Asbestos gaskets in imported plant

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

Items of plant were recently imported into Western Australia and found to contain bonded asbestos gaskets. The plant was imported from New Zealand and Thailand for installation at a major industrial site. Workers at the site were unaware that any gaskets contained asbestos. 

Contributing factors 

  • All forms of asbestos containing materials have been prohibited imports in Australia since 31 December 2003.
  • Gaskets containing asbestos are still manufactured in some other countries.
  • Plant was imported that included temporary shipping gaskets containing asbestos.
  • Gaskets containing asbestos may have a similar appearance to non-asbestos gaskets.


  • Importers should ensure that imported plant does not contain asbestos containing materials.
  • Suspect material should be analysed by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory.
  • Any removal work must be carried out by a competent person such as a licenced asbestos removalist.
  • Removal methods for asbestos gaskets and other asbestos containing materials are found in the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos.
  • Asbestos waste must be disposed of at a licensed asbestos disposal site. 

Further information

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident.  WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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