The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) in New South Wales, Australia is advising its members not to work on electricity meter boards in older houses because of the risk of asbestos.
It is estimated about two million properties built before 1983 have asbestos dust around the meters, with the union concerned about the dust being disturbed during the installation of new electricity meters.
Last week Endeavour Energy issued a 'hazard alert' to its staff, warning them to wear masks.
But the union says that advice was inadequate and announced the work ban on meters.
ETU Secretary Steve Butler says the union has now advised all its members to avoid meter boxes.
Mr Butler says the State Government now needs to take action.
"We believe the first step the government now has to take is to establish what condition these state meter boxes are in," he said.
The union is also calling for an audit of meter boards that have recently been modified and the removal of all asbestos meter boxes from all NSW Government-owned buildings.