As a precautionary measure, Winstone Wallboards advises it has temporarily closed its Christchurch plasterboard manufacturing plant on Opawa Road following the discovery of traces of asbestos in the manufacturing building.
The company was notified of this on 26 August by an external testing agency, during preparations for the replacement of the building’s roof.
"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," said Winstone Wallboards general manager David Thomas.
As a precaution the entire site, including office and dispatch buildings, was closed yesterday to ensure the safety of employees and contractors and so further testing could be carried out. We anticipate the results of these tests will be known by this afternoon.
"The company is not aware of any related health symptoms, however as a precaution health checks will be made available to employees and contractors. The health and safety of our workforce is our number one priority," Mr Thomas said.
Staff will be retained on full pay and kept informed as further information becomes available.
Winstone Wallboards has been advised by an asbestos removal specialist that there should be no concern of contamination to neighbouring properties.
The company anticipates there could be initial order delays of 24 to 48 hours for South Island customers. It is hoped the Christchurch distribution centre will be operational again on Wednesday.
The company’s Auckland manufacturing plant will be utilised to maintain supply into the market until the Christchurch manufacturing plant is operational again.
All staff and contractors are being asked to remain out of the affected area until further notice.
For further information contact:
Phone: +64 9 525 9115
Mobile: +64 21 889 054