The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union says workers at the Pluto LNG Project near Karratha have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.
AMWU State Secretary, Steve McCartney, said that workers grinding gaskets imported from overseas last week became suspicious and demanded that the materials be sent off for testing.
Tests carried out by the contractor have confirmed dangerous levels of brown and white asbestos in fabrication work that has been imported from overseas.
8 Monadelphous contractors have been directly exposed while grinding gaskets. An unknown number of employees have been indirectly exposed to levels of asbestos exceeding Australian safety standards.
“It ‘s outrageous that in the year 2010 Australian workers continue to have their life expectancy put at risk due to dangerous levels of asbestos.” Mr McCartney said.
“This fabrication work should be carried out in Australia where our stringent policies would ensure that workers are not put at risk. The exportation of this work puts short term profits ahead of the long term health and safety of Australians.”
“It’s a disgrace that Woodside do not have checks and balances in place for imported third world products.”
The AMWU has written to the company today asking for details on what procedures will be in place to ensure that no further workers will be exposed and on what actions will be taken to ensure the health of the exposed workers.