Asbestos at Barangaroo kept secret from construction workers

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Asbestos at Barangaroo kept secret from construction workers


Asbestos fears at Barangaroo

Workers at a major construction site in Sydney are meeting this morning after they walked off the job over fears of asbestos exposure.


Artists’ impressions of Barangaroo. Source: Supplied

CONSTRUCTION workers say they have been kept in the dark about the latest discovery of asbestos at Barangaroo.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union shut down work on the harbour foreshore site at 9am yesterday after another portion of the deadly fibre was dug up.

State secretary Brian Parker said it was the 13th asbestos find since work began at the planned entertainment complex.

He said workers did not believe there was any more of the dangerous toxin at the site until they uncovered it themselves.

“Not one bit of training has been provided to anyone on site about the dangers of dealing with asbestos, despite the fact that management knew it had been found,” he said.

“There wasn’t even a safety committee established on the job

“The union is of course deeply concerned about the dangers posed to workers, but the broader community has the right to be asking questions as well.

“On a high-wind day like today there is a real chance that dust from the site could blow all the way up to King Street Wharf.”

Mr Parker said all 150 workers attached to the site would now have to undergo x-rays and lung function tests.

He anticipates the site would remain closed for “some time” but said workers would meet early this morning to determine their next course of action.

Lend Lease yesterday denied any asbestos had been found at the site this time around.

In a statement the company’s group head of development David Hutton said: “Currently we have static monitoring devices around the site, as well as personal monitoring devices, checking air quality for asbestos.”

“No traces of asbestos have been found in the air nor have we found any evidence of exposure risk to workers or the community.”

“Safety is Lend Lease’s highest priority and, in regards to any contamination at Barangaroo South, the company has procedures in place to ensure the safety of the workforce, surrounding community and environment.”

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