The United Services Union has recently become aware of an asbestos contamination at the Lawson Stockpile site.
Apparently this contamination occurred sometime between December 2016 and September 2017 following excavation work undertaken near a community hall at Blackheath.
We believe that contaminated material was discovered during this excavation and that some of this material was transported to the Lawson Stockpile.
The United Services Union is undertaking further investigations to understand the timeline and extent of the contamination.
IMPORTANT: If you worked at the Lawson Stockpile site anytime from December 2016 until today please get in contact with your local USU Delegate.
We also ask that if you have concerns about being exposed to asbestos you take the following steps:
- Arrange to have yourself tested (if you haven’t already)
- Attend your GP and have these concerns registered
- Attend confidential counselling through the Employee Assistance Program
Given the way in which asbestos may be transported it is possible that Council vehicles or equipment which were used at the Stockpile may also be contaminated.
We advise members that any vehicles which were used at the Lawson Stockpile between December 2016 and today should be tested and if necessary decontaminated before they are used by any workers.
We remind employees of s 84 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011:
‘A worker may cease, or refuse to carry out, work if the worker has a reasonable concern that to carry out the work would expose the worker to a serious risk to the worker’s health or safety, emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard.’