Asbestos find shuts GIB factory
A Christchurch plasterboard factory has been shut down temporarily after traces of asbestos were found.
The Winstone Wallboards manufacturing plant in Opawa Rd was closed yesterday after an external testing agency found traces of asbestos in the manufacturing building during preparations for the replacement of the building's roof.
A total of 45 staff work at the Opawa Rd site.
The company, which manufactures GIB products, was notified of the discovery yesterday.
Winstone Wallboards general manager David Thomas said the entire site was closed to ensure worker safety while further testing was carried out.
The company expected to receive the results of the tests this afternoon.
"It is understood the traces of asbestos originate from the roof and that those traces are likely to have been contained within the manufacturing building," Thomas said.
The company was not aware of any health symptoms related to the discovery, but checks would be available to employees and contractors as a precaution.
Thomas said the company had been advised by an asbestos-removal specialist that there should be no concerns over contamination for neighbouring properties.
All staff and contractors were asked to keep out of the affected area until further notice, but staff would be kept on full pay while the plant was closed.
South Island customers could see order delays of 24 to 48 hours, but it was hoped the Christchurch distribution centre would be operating again tomorrow, Thomas said.
In the meantime, the company's Auckland plant would be used to maintain supply.
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