April 10, 2012
Workers at the Barangaroo site on Sydney's harbourside have downed tools due to fears of asbestos exposure.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union says site manager Bovis Lend Lease has hidden a "disturbing" history of bonded asbestos findings from workers and from the community.
All 150 workers on the site were removed at 9am (AEST) on Tuesday and would now undergo health checks, CFMEU NSW state secretary Brian Parker said.
He said the site was likely to remain closed for days, and that lung function tests and x-rays for workers could take months.
"The problem here is that there has been no formal training for working with asbestos and no documentation," Mr Parker told AAP on Tuesday.
He said members of the public may also have been exposed, as deadly asbestos fibres could have blown from the site to a childcare centre across the road and to nearby Darling Harbour.
"People have been taking their families on outings over the Easter break, and potentially asbestos fibres have been blowing across the harbour."
The union has requested a formal report on the site's safety from an occupational hygienist.
Workers will hold a stop-work meeting at 7am on Wednesday.