10th of February 2017
The ETU has called on the Department of Transport and Main Roads to put a stop to all below ground work on traffic lights and street lights statewide until asbestos discovered in the network is located.
It was discovered last week Department of Transport and Main Roads/Roadtek workers had been exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials in traffic light and street light pits and conduits throughout the state-owned network, as well as some local and regional council networks the Department are contracted to maintain.
ETU Queensland and NT Organiser Brenton Muller said despite the discovery of the dangerous materials the Department had not put a halt to work in the suspect areas.
“Hundreds of employees of the Department have been put at risk by their decision not to adhere to the Safe Work Method Statements and Asbestos Management Framework and put a stop to the work,” Mr Muller said.
“These employees aren’t the only people at risk of exposure to asbestos – their families could also be impacted by them unknowingly taking home asbestos dust on clothing.
“There could be thousands of Queenslanders exposed to deadly asbestos due to this Departmental mismanagement.”
Mr Muller said while Workplace Health and Safety Queensland had agreed that the Department was in breach of regulations covering the management of asbestos, they were not taking action.
“We are calling on Workplace Health and Safety Queensland to do their job and immediately protect these workers exposed to asbestos,” he said.
“The lives of Queensland workers are being put at risk as government bureaucrats twiddle their thumbs and avoid taking direct action against this threat to workers.”