Safe as houses at aged care home

Workers at Anita Villa in Katoomba.

Workers at Anita Villa in Katoomba.

Asbestos has been found at Anita Villa aged care home in Katoomba but the facility's operators have reassured the Gazette it has been safely removed from the site.

The chief operating officer of Aquarius Aged Care, Dr James Grealy, said the bonded asbestos was found during an inspection before scheduled work to create more single rooms and install fire safety sprinklers.

He said because Anita Villa dates back to 1911, when it was a guest house, contractors were brought in to assess potentially hazardous materials.

"This assessment found some bonded (non-friable) asbestos in the underside of the eaves in the external building. Asbestos is common in Australian buildings and homes, and this was expected, given the age of the building," he said.

The asbestos was reported and specialist removalist contractors were engaged to take the affected eaves from the outside of the building.

Dr Grealy said remediation work had begun on the front elevation of the building two weeks ago and on the back of the building last week.

"All remediation work has been undertaken in accordance with best practice guidelines in asbestos handling, management and disposal. Barricades have been used in any areas where there has been any risk of eaves either falling or breaking up during removal.

"The safety, comfort and well being of our residents, visiting families and staff has been our highest priority throughout this building work," Dr Grealy said.

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