Australia ratifies Convention to help protect workers from asbestos-related health hazards
Joint media release
- Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
- Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans
29 July 2011
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations Chris Evans and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today announced that Australia had completed the final steps to ratify a key international convention concerning safety in the use of asbestos.
The International Labour Organization Convention No. 162 Concerning Safety in the Use of Asbestos requires States to implement national laws or regulations to protect workers against health hazards arising from occupational exposure to asbestos.
Mr Rudd, who signed the Instrument of Ratification yesterday, said it should encourage other countries in the Asia Pacific region to consider implementing international labour standards to protect workers from asbestos hazards in the workplace.
"Australia will be only the fourth ILO Member State from the Asia Pacific to ratify the Convention”, said Mr Rudd.
"Asia still accounts for over 60 per cent of the world’s imports of asbestos, and unfortunately, dangers to human health posed by the unsafe use of asbestos in the workplace are not yet well recognised in our region. The Government is determined to work with regional countries to help eliminate the threat to human health from asbestos.”
Senator Evans said the ratification confirms Australia’s commitment to workplace health and safety.
"Australia will now have a world class regime that reflects best practice in protecting employers and employees from the harmful effects of asbestos,”said Senator Evans.
Mr Rudd also ratified Protocol to the Occupational Health and Safety Convention, 1981 (Protocol 155) and the Part Time Work Convention, 1994 (Convention 175).
Protocol 155 requires ratifying countries to place responsibilities on employers to record and notify the relevant authorities of occupational accidents and diseases.
Convention 175 requires that part-time employees receive the same protection as full-time workers for occupational health and safety, discrimination in employment and occupation and the right to organise and bargain collectively.
“Ratifying these three instruments is a significant achievement that demonstrates the progress Australia has made and our commitment to international labour standards will,” Senator Evans said.
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