Asbestos abatement issues plague Sydney Opera House renovations

16 Oct 2017 by under News
Sydney Opera House botanic gardens 1 100x100 Asbestos abatement issues plague Sydney Opera House renovations

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

Once again, renovations at the Sydney Opera House have stalled due to -related concerns.

In August, the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) issued a work ban on the $200 million project after asbestos was found in ducts where 25 electricians had been working. At that time, reports said none of the electricians were issued proper equipment and almost all the 25 electricians had not received proper asbestos awareness training.

“Two months after this major safety issue was uncovered, and the builder was ordered to rectify it by the safety regulator, we have again seen workers exposed to these carcinogenic fibers,” ETU secretary Dave McKinley told The Sydney Morning Herald.

On Oct. 5, safety inspectors again found asbestos-containing materials in samples taken from woven matting at the site, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP). This time an estimated 35 electricians could have been exposed to friable asbestos, which is the most likely to become airborne and negatively impact workers’ health.

In light of the discovery, the union demanded to know why Worksafe NSW had so far refused to issue a prohibition notice on contractor Laing O’Rourke to prevent construction in contaminated areas until it was removed, especially since the New South Wales government owns the property. The AAP confirmed four days after initial reports of the asbestos concerns that a prohibition notice was issued. SafeWork NSW said it has been investigating the site since asbestos was identified during renovations. “SafeWork NSW inspectors are monitoring the situation closely and will take any action necessary to ensure the health and safety of the workers involved in the construction work,” the agency released in a statement.



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