Electrical Union issues ban after asbestos found at Sydney Opera House

3 Aug 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News
Sydney Opera House botanic gardens 1 100x100 Electrical Union issues ban after asbestos found at Sydney Opera House

Credit: Adam.J.W.C. via Wikipedia

Renovations at the Sydney Opera House have hit a roadblock following the confirmation of asbestos fibers in the building. The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has issued a work ban on the $200 million project after asbestos was confirmed in ducts where 25 electricians worked in July.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the ETU issued the ban earlier this week, encompassing any work on risers, rectangular ceiling lights and “other penetrations that carry electrical services between floors and through walls” after the construction company and the contractor did not stop work after the asbestos find.

“Once it becomes airborne and there’s work going, it’s highly possible others have been exposed to this asbestos,” Justin Page, the New South Wales assistant secretary for the ETU, told the news source. “They should be in full overalls, and with the proper respiratory gear they need to do the job. Any employee who is working in these areas needs to be fully trained in asbestos awareness.”

Page said none of the electricians employed by the contractor were issued proper equipment and about 90 percent of the 25 concerned electricians had not received proper asbestos awareness training. Electricians have reportedly asked the construction company to “outline the controls they plan to put in place” and train electricians properly.

In a statement, construction company Laing O’Rourke said: “Last week suspect material was identified on site by electricians. The area was isolated and the material was removed safely and in accordance with the Asbestos Management Plan by licensed removalists. Workers have undergone health checks and SafeWork NSW has been notified.”

Page said further bans are a possibility.

 

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