Health checks are being arranged for staff members and students at Australia ‘s RMIT University after many people were covered with asbestos dust that came from a ventilation system. Around fifteen members of staff and several students were exposed to the dust, which contained asbestos fibers.

The incident occurred on Thursday, and as a result the area, on the west wing of the university building, was placed off limits and branded an “immediate risk to health a safety”. A number of builders were also working in the area, and have been told to bag up and submit their clothing for testing.

The ventilation system that released the dust was inadvertently switched on by builders working on an upper floor according to officials. One official stated: “Our first concern is for the health and safety of our staff and students. The area will remain closed until WorkSafe has confirmed that it is clear of any potential risk factors.”

A Worksafe inspector’s notice read: “I believe the activity involves an immediate risk to the health and safety of persons because of the collapse of an air defuser of the airconditioning containing asbestos at building 11 level B of the university. Area at building 11 level B has been exposed to asbestos dust.”

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